November 20, 2014

Central Office

Kansas City
St. Louis

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Southwest District
Southwest District at Work

Michelle Mullings

CONGRATULATIONS – Customer Service Representative Tonya Staeger (right) recognizes Lenora Thompson for her work as an Adopt-a-Highway volunteer on McDonald County Route H near Noel. Thompson has been part of the program for 10 years and averages 10 trash pick-ups per year. The program requires picking up trash four times a year. (Photo/David Mitchell)   WELCOME – Regional Counsel Executive Assistant Michelle Mullings greets attendees at the Missouri Highways & Transportation Commission meeting held in Springfield Nov. 6. (Photo/David Mitchell)

First Snow of Season a Good

Test of SW District’s Response

Joplin Maintenance Worker Jacob McDonald (left) and Joplin Senior Maintenance Worker Richard Persinger discuss installation of a salt spreader on a truck ahead of anticipated snowfall the weekend of Nov. 15. (Photo/David Mitchell)

Weekend snowfall in the Southwest District on Nov. 15 and 16 was seen as a good test of the district’s readiness for winter operations.

Saturday’s expected snowfall didn’t materialize, but another system moved across the district on Sunday leaving behind anywhere from a dusting in southern counties to as much as three to four inches in the north.

Crews were in the shop and ready to go Saturday ahead of the predicted winter weather. District Maintenance Engineer Michael Middleton said that was a benefit because it gave us another training opportunity for some of our new drivers.

Approximately 285 trucks and 500 drivers were involved in the effort to clear the district’s highways of snow.

All routes in the district were pronounced clear within three hours after the snow stopped falling.

Johnny Mathews,  northern area maintenance superintendent, said everything went well, especially for the first snow of the season.

“Our biggest problem was traffic didn’t slow down as it should have,” he said. “We had lots of traffic going to Kansas City for the Chiefs football game.”

There were some slide-offs and crashes along I-44 in the Mount Vernon and Marshfield areas, but Middleton said they were cleared up quickly. He said MoDOT’s emergency response personnel reacted well, as did emergency operations center call-takers who handled more than 125 calls over the weekend.

“I was pleased with how we did in the first storm,” Middleton said.

Middleton was especially pleased that no MoDOT vehicles were involved in any crashes and no employees were injured on the job.

“It won’t be our worst storm,” he said, “but it gives us confidence to deal with the next one.”


Costume Contest Raises Funds

For Charitable Campaign

Shannon Kellner
Sharon Needham
Costume contest co-winners: Assistant District Maintenance Engineer Shannon Kellner (top) and Senior Highway Designer Sharon Needham.

Employees at the Southwest District Office in Springfield used a Halloween costume contest to raise money for the Missouri State Employees Charitable Campaign.

“It is fun because it brings out the kid in you,” said Springfield Senior Highway Designer Sharon Needham.

Needham organizes the contest every year.

This year, 13 costumed district employees entered the super heroes-themed contest. People voted for their favorites by contributing money from mid-October through the first week of November. The costume getting the most contributions won.

Two entries tied for the top spot: Assistant District Maintenance Engineer Shannon Kellner (a.k.a., Super Lazy) and Needham (a.k.a., Underdog).

The contest raised $73.55, with all funds going to the Home for Life Cat Sanctuary in Buffalo.

Next year’s theme for the Halloween costume contest is the 1970s.


For more info

Jennifer Williams
Customer Relations Manager
Southwest District

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