April 24, 2014

Central Office

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St. Louis

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Showcase Spotlights Top Employee Innovations

by Jim Dickson  
snow plow
The Southwest District's snow plow stand was among the tool and equipment category winners. This innovation makes the process of attaching and detaching the snow plow more safe, quick and simple.

This year’s Innovations Challenge Showcase marked its seventh birthday with a new streamlined look. Last year’s two challenges (Tool and Equipment and ProMO) were combined into a single program with three separate competitions for tools and equipment, projects and productivity innovations. There

were a total of 54 employee innovations on the floor April 10 at the Springfield Expo Center. This also marked the first year the event served as the kickoff event for the DOMInno Conference with more than 500 employees spending the morning investigating new ways to get work done better, faster, cheaper and safer.

The road to the showcase floor started last fall with eight separate competitions across the state. A total of 125 first-round winners were then evaluated by statewide teams to choose the best for the showcase.

Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger said the event continues to wow him each year. “I was a judge last year,” said Hassinger. “When I left the exhibit hall, I wondered what could top that and you filled the exhibit hall again. But we really haven’t gained anything unless we take these back and put them to work.”

Here are the statewide winners from both challenges:

People’s Choice Award

  • Porous Backfill (Southeast District) – Traveling Trophy

Tool & Equipment Statewide Winners

  • LED Panic Lights (St. Louis District) – Individual Cash Awards plus a $10,000 budget transfer
  • Pipe Liner Winch (Southeast District) – Individual Cash Awards plus a $10,000 budget transfer
  • Snow Plow Stand (Southwest District) – Individual Cash Awards
  • Drag Chain Oiler (Kansas City District) – Individual Cash Awards

Productivity Statewide Winners

  • showcase video

    Click on the link above to watch a video recapping the showcase.

    Customer Contact Map (Statewide Team) – Individual Cash Awards plus a $10,000 budget transfer
  • GPS Pavement Markers (Northeast District) – Individual Cash Awards plus a $10,000 budget transfer
  • GroupCast (Central District) – Individual Cash Awards
  • Engine Block Heater Controller (Central District) – Individual Cash Awards

Projects Statewide Winners

  • LiDAR Vertical Clearances (St. Louis District) – Individual Cash Awards plus a $10,000 budget transfer
  • Tablets in Construction (Kansas City District) – Individual Cash Awards plus a $10,000 budget transfer
  • Raising Spirit of St. Louis Boulevard (St. Louis District) – Individual Cash Awards
  • Traffic Permitting Database (Traffic and Highway Safety Division) – Individual Cash Awards

More information on the 2014 Innovations Challenge Showcase is available at http://wwwi/intranet/cr/SolutionsAtWork/Innovationsshowcase2013-2014.htm. Be sure to watch the video recapping the showcase at the same address (link works for active employees only).

MoDOT's Mantra for Spring: Revive - Recover - Restore  
Winter is finally over and as temperatures rise it is important to make sure that as a collective team we are performing our best on a daily basis. During a presentation at the DOMInno meeting, Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger focused on three keys to success that MoDOT needs to focus on over the coming months.


It is important to take the time to rest. There is always work to be done, but to make sure that you are productive and focused while at work you need to take a break. A few days off, or a long weekend with friends and family can help to alleviate the stress and pressures of work. Supervisors are encouraged to avoid scheduling meetings on Fridays or Mondays so employees can take long weekends without the stress of missing critical information.


Winter has been damaging to our roads and fleet. We need to prepare for the summer construction season and make sure that potholes are filled, delineators and tabs are replaced, and our fleet has been restored. A single pothole can be the difference between a satisfied and dissatisfied customer, and it is our job to provide a world-class transportation system that delights our customers.


Our customers expect road conditions back to normal standards of quality and safety. Over the last several years we have developed best practices to be efficient and meet our customers' expectations. Those methods are the key to our success. We don't rush, we don't cut corners, and we always take time to be safe.

MoDOT's direction has not changed. We will continue to take care of our system as well as we can, for as long as we can, with the resources we have. Safety is a priority and we will be focused on keeping our customers and ourselves safe so we can all go home safe.


Why Revive?

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.” - Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

As we emerge from a winter that seemed to have no end, it is time to revive and reap the benefits that spring and summer have to offer. It can be easy to become so focused on work that we lose sight of family, friends, or even our own interests outside the day-to-day grind. It is high time we take a logomoment to revive from work and take a page out of Ferris Bueller’s book and take a day off!

A day off can simply be taking the time to relax at home, but it can also be a chance to get out of the house and enjoy a vacation right here in the state of Missouri. Take the opportunity to be a tourist in your own state!

While many who have lived in Missouri for a long time would say, “there is nothing good to do in Missouri” have you really looked into what the Show-Me state has to offer?

To see more of what Missouri has to offer this vacation season, go to for trip ideas, upcoming events, and discounts.
Time Is Running Out to Complete Your Employee Survey  

There’s less than one week remaining for you to complete the 2014 MoDOT Employee Survey. You can complete survey on paper or use the online version at

surveyIf you have questions about the survey, please contact Phillips and Associates at, or call
(636) 394-4430.

Your survey answers will be combined with all the other employee responses from across the state. The overall results will be analyzed at the statewide level as well as all seven districts and the Central Office. The final survey report will be posted on the department’s intranet in July.

In the months following the final report, our consultant will work with MoDOT senior managers to develop action plans to address issues identified in the survey.

The deadline for being part of this year’s survey is April 30!

Team Talk  
Hello, Team MoDOT! This past Easter weekend, I decided it truly feels like spring. We’ve got blooming redbuds and flowers, and everything is turning green. (Except perhaps my yard…that’s not looking so good.) I really enjoy this time of year, and looking over my flower beds to see what survived the winter that I can identify, and what survived but I can’t remember what it is. During this time, I hope you’ll take the opportunity to Revive, Recover and Restore, in both your personal and MoDOT lives. It HAS been a tough winter and we all need to realize that and take the time to rest, to heal, and to prepare for whatever comes next. Team MoDOT is all about being game on, but every team member needs a break from time to time, so make sure you are looking after yourselves.


Click above to view the virtual meeting.

I have a couple requests to make of your work time, and I know you can help. The first is my wish to see feedback from all employees through MoDOT’s employee survey. We haven’t done one since 2010, and Dave, Ed, Kathy and I believe it is really important. You’ll see an article on this page about the employee survey, and I want to stress that we want to hear from every single employee. It’s due April 30, and you’ve got some options for submitting your responses. Please do. That’s how you can help the department grow and improve.

My second request is for district or division employees who aren’t attending an in-person spring meeting this year. During April and May, many MoDOT districts gather employees together to talk about preparing for the spring and summer work seasons. These meetings focus on safety, spring operations and MoDOT’s priorities.

This year, MoDOT created a “virtual” spring meeting, so even if you aren’t scheduled to attend in person, you can still catch up on what’s going on in the department. The video is about 25 minutes long, and features a segment from yours truly about the state of transportation funding and what that means for MoDOT employees. You can also hear Ed speak about his Revive, Recover and Restore message, and Kathy speak about all the work we have to do, even as we talk about a declining construction program. There’s also great information on the department’s focus for spring and summer operations, new PPE requirements, our safety awards, and changes to the medical plan, among other things.

Check out the virtual meeting video through this YouTube Video link. If you work at a building with a slow Internet connection, you can download the video to your computer from MoDOT’s FTP site. (By the way, that stands for File Transfer Protocol. My IT folks need to make sure we’re keeping up with the engineers when it comes to using acronyms!)

I believe in being open to all of your feedback and, at the same time, helping you stay engaged and informed. My requests today are rooted in that belief, and I hope you understand our communication at MoDOT is always a two way street. Thank you for doing your part. Stay safe and happy spring!

Statewide Events Calendar Pulls It All Together  

April 2014

MoDOT is a big organization. Keeping up with events across the state
is no easy task, but it’s critical to our success. Knowing “who, what, where and when” helps us work together as a team.

With that fact in mind, the Statewide Events Calendar was created.

Located on the customer relations SharePoint site, the Statewide
Events Calendar
shows all major MoDOT happenings across the
state month by month (link works for active employees only).

District-wide meetings, events including public and statewide conferences and holidays, are all color-coded on the calendar for
quick reference. Clicking on the text will expand the view to show
more details.

“This is an excellent tool to get a look at the big picture,” said Mara Campbell, MoDOT customer relations director. “You can see what’s coming up months ahead of time and plan accordingly.”

The Statewide Events Calendar is a tool for the entire department.
Any division or district planning an event of organizational interest
can add information. It’s a great way to plan meetings around
holidays or keep your invitation from conflicting with other big

If you want to know more about the Statewide Events Calendar, contact your customer relations beat driver or district CR staff. They can help you decide if your event (Soiree? Shindig? Hootenanny?) belongs on the calendar and give you a hand getting it on there.
Motorcyclists Urged to Drive With Caution This Spring  
motorcycle No one appreciates a warm spring day more than a motorcyclist who's had a bike sitting in the garage all winter. As engines rev in anticipation of a beautiful Missouri scenic ride, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to encourage riders to keep an eye out for debris, gravel, and rough road conditions that often result after a hard winter.

As you know, city, county and state road crews are working daily to fill and repair winter roadway damage. In the meantime it's important to pay special attention to the roadway conditions when planning a ride.

Motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than passenger vehicle occupants in crashes. Therefore, it's very important to always wear proper protective gear, including a DOT compliant helmet when riding.

For more information on motorcycle safety visit You can also follow SaveMOLives on Facebook and Twitter.

Fatality Update  
fatality graphic
What's Happening  
Ed Chat With the Chief
Remember to check out Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger's blog post on the Innovations Challenge, DOMinno and the Future of Funding - Chat With the Chief.


Focus on Prevention

Are you taking advantage of the no-cost preventative benefits offered to employees through Coventry Health Care? Surprisingly, many employees aren't.

Check the preventative benefits information on the Central Office page of this edition of Connections and see why it's important to take advantage of this benefit.

Don't miss the opportunity to live a healthier life with this program.



Manchester Arts Club Annual Photo Contest

The Manchester Arts Focus 2014 photography competition selected forty winners out of the 200 photographs of Manchester and St. Louis. Among the submissions are even some featuring transportation-related photos.

The article with photos can be viewed on News Magazine Network's website - News Magazine.

More photos can be found on the Manchester Arts Facebook page.

Left, one of the winning photos. Photo by Ronald Gaddis.



Stay in the Now!

If you haven't already, join the nearly 3,000 who have downloaded the MoDOT Now app to their smartphones or tablets.

The information on the app is divided into three sections, MoDOT News, Videos and Other News. Make sure to check each section every day for new content.

The icon should automatically have loaded to your MoDOT issued smarthphone or tablet, and to your computer desktop. To get the app for your personal smartphone, go to MoDOT's webpage and click the download for iphone or android.

app download

Don't be left out, join MoDOT Now - iPhone or Android.



Employee Discounts for Summer Fun!

What's your idea of summer fun? Baseball, roller coasters, pizza? Before you make plans check out the ticket discounts available to state employees, from Cardinals baseball to Silver Dollar City.

The discounts are offered in conjunction with State Employee Recognition Week in May, but some continue through summer into the fall - Employee Discounts.



April Retirements

Gary W. Fewins – NW – 28 years
Drake D. Tarpley – NW – 28 years
Larry C. Cornelius – NE – 25 years
Herbert L. Lovelace – NE – 28 years
Lay, Gregory D. – NE – 29 years
Ronald E. Cordes – KC – 25 years

Connie J. Roadruck – CD – 27 years
Jerry W. Nilges – CD – 29 years
Timothy M. Shaw – SL – 27 years
Kenneth L. Hollocher – SL – 36 years
Jack S. Pate – SW – 10 years
Ernest D. Doody – SW – 24 years

Ted A. Frieden – SW – 24 years
Charles K. Gire – SW – 29 years
Jill A. Fetters – SE – 26 years
Jay W. Trammell – SE – 28 years
Martin A. Brose – CO – 16 years

In Memoriam  
James Durden (active employee)
SW District – April 7
James Schwerdtfeger
CO – March 28
Kenneth Paschal
CO – March 28
Philip Broyles
CO – March 29

Joe Bright
former D10 – March 30
Ernest Derboven
former D2 – March 31
Don Baker
former D6 – April 2

Everette Gordon
former D3 – April 9
Carroll McAfee
former D10 – April 10
Glenn Banks
former D7 – April 13


Our mission is to provide a world-class transportation experience that delights our customers and promotes a prosperous Missouri.
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