Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Work Zone Awareness

Springtime just naturally call us to be outside. We love planting in our gardens, sprucing up our yards, attending outdoor sporting events and driving with the windows rolled down.

There’s a relaxed sense of time in the spring as well. We feel like we need to enjoy the sunshine, park at the last space in the parking lot and take our time walking into the office.

Yet, for many, once we’re behind the wheel and driving we become agitated when slowed down by a roadway work zone.

Just as spring is the perfect time to upgrade or maintain our homes, it is also the best time to start projects to maintain the condition of our major roads, while improving our minor road surfaces.

At MoDOT we’re working hard to make our work zones as safe as [possible. We offer the online Traveler’s Information Map, as well as an online "rate our work zone" tool. We’ve improved our work zone signs and we actively employ the latest technology to help us monitor traffic and decrease delays.

Since 2000, 15 MoDOT employees have been killed in the line of duty.

Distracted driving is the biggest problem. The top five contributing circumstances for work zone crashes in 2011 were inattention, following too closely, improper lane usage/change, too fast for conditions and failure to yield -- in that order.

Take time to enjoy your drive. Relax. Slow down. Drive Smart in Work Zones and Arrive Alive.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Diverging Diamond Interchange Coming to Joplin

Many of us love the freedom of an open road. We also want each and every trip to end safely.
Ease of travel and safety are important MoDOT goals as well.

Those principles are the backbone of our plan to rebuild the I-44/Range Line Road interchange in Joplin starting in late summer or early fall and running through the end of 2013.

The large-scale project will replace the aging I-44 bridges over Range Line Road, eliminate cloverleaf ramps in favor of straight ramps and convert Range Line Road into a Diverging Diamond Interchange.

You may have heard about the Diverging Diamond Interchange design. You may even have driven one in Springfield, Branson, Kansas City or St. Louis. We hope you come to understand how the design keeps traffic flowing and reduces crashes, especially right-angle crashes where cars try to turn left onto the freeway in front of oncoming traffic.

The Diverging Diamond Interchange shifts traffic to the left-hand side of the road at traffic signals on either end of the interchange, enabling left-turning drivers to turn without facing traffic from the opposite direction. It also enables through traffic -- those not wishing to turn onto the freeway -- to move through the interchange without having to worry about someone turning left in front of them.

It really works. That's why you're going to see more of these interchanges built in Missouri and in many other states.

To get an idea of how the design works, check our web site -- . You'll find study animations, drawings and a written explanation. Spend a few minutes. We think it will help you.

The project's construction will be a challenge. Traffic disruptions always occur during construction. However, MoDOT will work with its contractors to keep traffic moving. Most lane and ramp closings will be at night when traffic is much reduced. We're not saying there won't be pain but we will do our best to minimize it.

And don't worry. If you run a business near the interchange, your customers will be able to reach your door during construction, even though it might take them a few extra minutes to get there. We want to see everyone able to conduct business as usual amid all the orange cones and construction signs.

Leave a comment or call (888-275-6636) if you have questions or concerns. If you send us your email address or sign up for eupdates, we can provide you with periodic updates on the project after construction begins.