October 9, 2014

Central Office

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Southwest District
Southwest District at Work
Arrive Alive event in Joplin  

Steve Markham

EASY THERE, HOTROD! – Maintenance Worker Bob McClary (left) watches while a man tries one of the Drunk Buster Karts at an Arrive Alive safety event
in Joplin on Sept. 27. (Photo/LeAnn Blankenship)
  MAY I ASK YOU A QUESTION? – Clinton Senior Construction Inspector Steve Markham conducts a salary survey with a contractor at a bridge project on Route 13 south of Clinton. (Photo/David Mitchell)
Mowing in Dallas Co.   B2B Expo in Springfield
FALL MOWING SEASON – Buffalo Senior Maintenance Worker Cory Hildebrandt mows along Route 32 in Dallas County near Long Lane. (Photo/David Mitchell)   GOT ANY FREEBIES? – A visitor to the MoDOT booth at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business to Business Expo talks to Assistant District Maintenance Engineer Bob Becker (left). (Photo/David Mitchell)

Ribbon Cutting Officially Opens

Stone’s Corner Roundabout

Stone's Corner Ribbon-cutting
MoDOT, state and local dignitaries cut the ribbon officially dedicating the new dual-lane roundabout at Route 171/43 in the Village of Airport Drive near Joplin on Sept. 30. (Photo/David Mitchell)

A ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened the new dual-lane roundabout at Route 171/43 in the Village of Airport Drive near Joplin Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Construction of the $3.3 million project was completed the week of Aug. 18.

The roundabout replaced a traditional, signalized four-way intersection at one of the busiest locations in the area, known as Stone’s Corner. Prior to the start of the project, traffic often backed up during morning and afternoon rush hours for as much as five cycles of the signals.

“It has eliminated congestion as we knew it at Stone’s Corner,” said Assistant District Engineer Dan Salisbury. “In addition, two new businesses are going in at this location which adds to the economy of the Village of Airport Drive.”

The Stone’s Corner roundabout handles more traffic than any other dual-lane roundabout in the Southwest District. An average of 29,000 cars pass through the intersection every day. That number is projected to increase to 35,000 by 2034.

“The finished product turned out very well,” said Joplin Intermediate Construction Inspector Ryan Dingman.

The decision to convert the Stone’s Corner intersection into a two-lane roundabout was controversial in the community.

Dan Salisbury
Assistant District Engineer Dan Salisbury talks to local reporters about the importance of the new roundabout. (Photo/David Mitchell)

Dingman said from the beginning, people he heard from either loved it or hated it.

Now that construction is complete and the new configuration is open to traffic, opinions seem to be softening.

“I do hear more positive than negative,” said Dingman.

Mark Rains is the Chair Pro Tem of the Airport Drive Board of Trustees. He was skeptical about the idea of a roundabout at first.

But, he said, once he saw the final plans, “I was on board 100 percent.”

“It’s working great,” said Rains. “MoDOT did a great job. It went very smoothly.”

“I told a group of 90 people whom we met with right before construction started that I would come back and ‘face the music’ if it didn’t work,” added Salisbury. “Several called at the completion of the project and said it would not be necessary. They were elated.”

This is among the last major projects in the district until MoDOT’s funding issues are addressed. Bids on a new interchange on I-44 near Joplin’s Crossroads Business and Distribution Park await approval by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission at its meeting in October.


SW District IS Technologist Recognized

For Going ‘Above & Beyond’

Blaine Doss
Senior Information Systems Technologist Blaine Doss works on electronic equipment at the Springfield District Office. (Photo/David Mitchell)

Senior Information Systems Technologist Blaine Doss was recognized with the “Above & Beyond” award for August.

The award is given to any Information Systems employee in the state who goes well beyond the normal scope of the job.

Doss was recognized for installing fiber connectivity at the Springfield Project Office and at the District Office Complex.

In nominating him, Southwest District Information Systems Manager Marc Lewis, said Doss spent nine months working on the project while continuing to do his regularly assigned job duties.

“He worked with the Signal Shop to obtain some of their unused fiber … at no cost,” Lewis said. “He borrowed their splicing equipment and spliced the fiber strands together himself.”

Doss worked with other employees in the district IS office to run the fiber through the conduit and trained them on fiber technology at the same time.

The final result was to remove the wireless point-to-point connection between buildings, increasing network speed and preparing the way to switch over to a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone system “to help us save even more money,” said Lewis.


For more info

Jennifer Williams
Customer Relations Manager
Southwest District

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