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July 24, 2014

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Governor Takes Action on Transportation-Related Legislation

   

July 14 was Governor Nixon's constitutional deadline for taking action on legislation passed by the General Assembly during the 2014 legislative season. Some of the legislative action has an impact on MoDOT or transportation in Missouri, and includes the following:

Emergency Permits: On July 3, Gov. Nixon signed HB 1190 into law. HB 1190 relates to facilitating rapid response to disasters and includes the provision requiring MoDOT to issue emergency utility response permits that allow motor carriers to transport equipment and the infrastructure necessary for repair work immediately following a disaster where utility service has been disrupted. "Under exigent circumstances, verbal approval of the operation may be made by the motor carrier compliance supervisor or other designated motor carrier services representative." The legislation simply puts MoDOT's Motor Carrier Services Division's current practice into law. HB 1190 goes into effect Aug. 28, 2014.

planeAviation Trust Fund: On June 30, Gov. Nixon signed SB 818, sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City). SB 818 expands how the aviation trust funds can be used to include airport business plans and strategic plans. This act also lowers the threshold of required deposits from $6 million to $4.5 million in order to spend money for the study or promotion of expanded domestic, international, or intrastate commercial service, the promotion of aviation in the state, or assisting airport sponsors participating in a federally funded air service program supporting intrastate scheduled commercial service. This lowered threshold is restricted by permitting no more than $2 million to be spent for the above purposes and at least $4 million must be used for other purposes allowable under the law. The provisions are also contained in HB 2141 signed by Gov. Nixon on July 7. SB 818 goes into effect Aug. 28, 2014.

Increased Truck Weights: On July 8, Gov. Nixon vetoed two different legislative proposals that would increase the allowable truck weights for livestock haulers from 80,000 lbs. to 85,500 lbs., expect for the interstate and highways of defense systems. The increased weight limit proposals were included in two separate omnibus bills that were vetoed for other reasons. The bills vetoed were SB 506 and HB 1326 relating to captive deer. During session, MoDOT opposed this legislation because this increased weight of 5,500 lbs. could accelerate the wear and tear on many state roads and bridges.

Omnibus Highway Naming: This year's annual highway/memorial designation legislation was included in HB 1866. HB 1866 was sponsored by Rep. Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan) and originally designated only a portion of U.S. Highway 54 in Cole County as the "Billy Dean Robinett Memorial Highway" but was expanded to include the following designations:

  • A portion of Route U in Washington County as the "SGM Patrick R. Hurley Memorial Highway"
  • A portion of Route U in Washington County as the "Thomas Wesley Benoist Memorial Highway"
  • A bridge on Route 5 in Laclede County as the "James R. Ledbetter Memorial Bridge"
  • A bridge on Route N in Franklin County as the "Marc Perez Memorial Bridge"
  • A bridge on Route 185 in Franklin County as the "James K. Schatz Memorial Bridge"
  • A portion of I-49 in Newton County as the "James B. Tatum Highway"
  • A portion of I-55 in St. Louis County as the "Police Officer Steven Jarvis Memorial Highway"
  • A bridge on East Stadium Drive in Jackson County as the "Len Dawson Bridge"
  • A portion of Highway 60 in Wright County as the "Spc. Justin Blake Carter Memorial Highway for Life"
  • A bridge on Route 160 in Ozark County as the "Barney Douglas (The Citizen) Memorial Bridge"
  • A portion of U.S. Route 54 in Audrain County as the "Officer Orville Rosenstengel Memorial Highway," and
  • All of U.S. Route 54 from the Kansas/Missouri border to the Illinois/Missouri border as "Discover More on Route 54."


HB 1866 goes into effect on Aug. 28.

   
     
New Railway at SEMO Port Dedicated    
 
ribbon cutting
Southeast Assistant District Engineer Matt Seiler, on left train, and Director Dave Nichols, on center train, participated in the July 15 ribbon cutting ceremony along with SEMO port officials, local businesses and local and state agencies.
The Southeast Missouri (SEMO) Regional Port Authority in Scott City recently celebrated the completion of the North Tracks project, a new railway within the port complex. MoDOT Director Dave Nichols, Southeast Assistant District Engineer Matt Seiler and Senior Multimodal Operations Specialist Bryan Ross participated in the July 15 ribbon cutting ceremony.

The North Tracks project installed four track switches and 2,606 feet of additional track siding. It will directly serve SEMO Milling, one of six companies located at SEMO Port. The approximately $650,000 project used General Revenue with funding from the Delta Regional Authority and the SEMO port. The SEMO port, strategically located along the Mississippi River halfway between St. Louis and Memphis, has shipped more tonnage than any Missouri public port in the last 10 years.

Prior to the ceremony, MoDOT Director Dave Nichols had the opportunity to operate Engine 8334, a General Motors GP-10 (1850 horsepower) locomotive. This engine is used to pull freight within the port complex. See a photo of Dave running the train on the Southeast District's Connections Page - SE District.
   
     
EAC
   
     
Team Talk    
 
As we close in on the final days before Missourians vote on Constitutional Amendment 7, I’ve been thinking about how we function as department and what our future holds. We are an agency that has learned from our past. And we understand the value, the necessity of moving forward and always planning for the future. We understand the impact our actions have on every single person in this state.

Earlier this week, someone told me about a 93-year-old man who called the customer service center, wanting some information on our neighboring states’ sales and fuel taxes. He was concerned, he said, about conversations he’d heard at the facility where he lives, and letters to the editor he’d seen in the paper.

“People don’t have the right information,” he said. He wanted to know for himself just where Missouri falls in comparison to every state that touches our border. That way, he could “set the record straight.”

This man has lived almost as long as MoDOT has been in existence. He told customer service he didn’t drive anymore, but that didn’t matter. He wanted to be informed, and he was willing to reach out, ask questions, and find out the facts so he could make the best decision for Missouri.

Will he vote yes on Aug. 5? I don’t know. But that call reminds me how important our work is. It matters to and registers with people – even those who have earned the right to sit back, relax, and let someone else worry about the future.

In less than two weeks, we’ll know the result of the vote on Amendment 7. We may get a boost in transportation funding that will allow for safety improvements, projects that will grow the economy, needed repairs to our roads and bridges and funding for the other types of transportation like transit. Without it, we know we’ll keep focusing on what we’ve been doing: maintaining what we have, keeping people safe, and providing great customer service. I could not be more proud of our achievements. I know the 5,100 MoDOT employees that blanket the state come to work committed to doing a good job for every traveler in our state, every day. Thank you.

   
     
Where's Baby    
 

Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash-related fatalities for children. From 1998 to 2013, 606 children died due to heatstroke. Of these fatalities 52 percent were forgotten in the vehicle. These deaths could have been prevented.

babyIt is important to know that a child’s body temperature can heat up three to five times faster than an adult. If their core temperature reaches 107 it can become lethal. At an outside temperature of 80 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle can be deadly in a matter of minutes. Heatstroke isn’t only associated with the warm temperatures of spring and summer. It can occur at temperatures as low as 57 degrees. The temperature inside a vehicle can heat up by 20 degrees in 10 minutes, and rolling the windows down or parking in the shade does little to help cool the vehicle off in these conditions.


While no parent wants to think a tragedy such as this could happen to them, preventable accidents occur. In 2013, there were 44 children that died of heatstroke in the United States. To prevent heatstroke inside a car remember:

  • Never leave a child alone in a parked car.
  • Always look in both the front and back seat when you leave the vehicle.
  • Lock your vehicle doors and the keys out of a child’s reach to ensure they cannot accidentally trap themselves inside the vehicle.

Whether dropping off a child is part of a daily routine or something only done occasionally, there are some simple steps to help remember that a child is in the vehicle.

  • Place an item that you need for your destination next to the car seat.
  • Call your spouse after you drop the child off and have them contact you if they don’t receive your call to ensure you don’t forget.
  • Have the daycare call you if your child does not show up.
   
     
Fatality Update
   
fatalities
   
     
What's Happening    
     

mapUpdated Traffic Volume Maps Available Online
MoDOT's 2013 Traffic Volume Map is now available at http://www.modot.org/safety/trafficvolumemaps.htm.
The map shows traffic volumes on MoDOT’s system of more than 33,000 miles. The map is updated every three years.

You can view the statewide map or a breakdown of each of the seven district areas. Customers who do not have access to a computer can request a printed copy through MoDOT’s Customer Service, 1-888-ASK-MODOT or online at http://www.modot.org/asp/request_information.shtml?comments.htm.

 

   

   
defered comp update

Deferred Compensation Update

July’s update from the Deferred Compensation Program takes a closer look to see how Missouri savers are using the deferred compensation plan.

While everyone's situation is different, understanding how your co-workers are using the plan might just inspire important adjustments to your own savings strategy – Deferred Comp

   

   
Coventry logo

More on Preventative Care
Coventry Health Care encourages members to receive vaccines to prevent disease. Check out the flier on the Central Office page of connections for a table of recommended adult vaccines – CO Page.

   

   

July Retirements

   

Kathy M. Brown – NW - 28 years
Vyrla D. England – KC - 14 years
Randall D. Newkirk – KC – 31 years
Michaeline J. Frey – CD - 14 years
Harold R. Baumgartner – CD - 15 years

Gerald B. Poulin – CD - 22 years
Martin D. Connell – SL - 8 years
Deborah K. Hackmann – SL - 12 years
Sheryl J. Nolker – SL - 23 years
James C. Mezel – SW - 24 years

Patricia L. Miller –SE - 19 years
Alberta M. Green – SE – 22 years
Johnny L. Davis – SE - 23 years
Rockey L. Martin – SE - 29 years

   
     
In Memoriam    

James Mettlach
former D7 – June 21
Lawrence Kemper
former D7 – June 22
William Blair
former D5 – June 22
Charles Newton
former D2 – June 24
Dougald White
former D5 – June 29
Susan Marshall
SW District – June 29


Edward Andrews
former D8 – June 30
Eugene Haug
former D3 – July 1
Denzil Wright
former D8 – July 3
Mildred Tunnell
CO – July 3
Lyman Fowler
former 10 – July 4
Marvin Campbell
former D8 – July 6

Donald Anders
CO – July 8
Bonnie Richards
CO – July 9
Glennon Carron
former D10 – July 14
James Maasen
former D5 – July 14
Roberta “Jean” Endsley
CO – July 18

   
MovingForwardTag    
     
 
 
 
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