March 26, 2015

Central Office

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Interview With a Work Zone Icon

MoDOT’s Barrel Bob is one busy spokesbarrel. He can be seen across the state in work zones to help bring awareness for safety and remind drivers to slow down and move over in work zones. Not only is he out there smiling at people as they pass by on Missouri roads, he’s on Facebook and on the radio! Barrel Bob has a pretty hectic schedule this week helping the MoDOT districts promote Work Zone Awareness Week. One minute he is in Central District and the next he is in Kansas City. It is almost like there is more than one of him!

I had the opportunity to briefly sit down with Bob after his appearance at Central Office and Central District’s Work Zone Awareness press event and ask him a few questions.

You are everywhere right now. You’re out there on Missouri roads, you are at the district work zone events, you can be heard on the radio talking about work zone safety and you are on Facebook.

I know. I am pretty much a barrel version of Ryan Seacrest!

work zone bob
Work Zone icon Barrel Bob posed for a picture near a truck mounted attenuator during Work Zone Awareness Week's kickoff event in Jefferson City (photo by Cathy Morrison).

How important is it to you to make sure people understand the importance of work zone safety?

Are you being serious right now? That is like asking Batman how important is it to stop crime in Gotham, or Brian Williams how important it is to remember things correctly. It is VERY important. It is the top priority of MoDOT to ensure that employees and motorists are both safe in work zones so everyone can go home safe. It is important to me, and all my pals at MoDOT, that my highway heroes have a safe work environment. Not all work zones are the same and I am happy that is something we are trying to make the public aware of. Some work zones are slow moving operations such as striping, patching or mowing. They can also be short term temporary lane closures. No matter what kind of work zone it is motorists need to slow down and change lanes, it’s the law.

What did you think of the message that Senior Maintenance Worker Scott Campbell gave today about his experience in a work zone crash involving a truck mounted attenuator?

I thought Scott did an amazing job talking about the importance of paying attention in work zones. Crashes just like the one Scott was in are completely avoidable if everyone is on their A-game while driving.

You’ve been hit yourself a few times if what I’ve read is true.

I’ve been knocked on my barrels a few times! I would tell you about them all but we don’t have that kind of time and I am saving those for my autobiography “Tall, Orange and Handsome.” I’m still working on the title but it will definitely have an orange cover.

This year’s Work Zone Awareness Week slogan is “pay attention or pay the price.” Do you feel like people are paying less attention these days while driving?

I constantly see people zooming by while on their cell phones. Just because it only takes a couple of seconds to read makes it seem ok, but it’s not. The average text takes five seconds to read. If you are going 55 mph, it’s like traveling the length of a football field blindfolded! There is a good chance you won’t see my highway heroes out doing their jobs before you run into that work zone. So put the phone down, pay attention and stop driving like you are the star of one if those scary movies!

What scary movies?

Those Fast and Furious movies! If Vin Diesel drives in one of my work zones he better be going the posted speed limit with a positive attitude! 

You have said multiple times on your Facebook page that Work Zone Awareness Week is your favorite week of the year, but you also get pretty excited about State Fair.

I love the State Fair too! It is another opportunity to help raise awareness for the importance of work zone safety! And there are corn dogs….mmmmm corndogs. Hope to see all your readers there August 13-23 in the Highway Gardens.

Thank you for taking a minute to speak with me today.

You bet! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook! I’m off to snap a selfie with Baby Bob out at the Columbia Mall!

Wait a second! Isn’t Baby Bob you at a younger age? How can you both be in the same place at once?

It’s a classic time traveling story. Time traveling work zone spokesbarrel goes back in time to recruit himself in his prime to tell the future about work zone safety. It’s a pretty common thing.


MoDOT Recognized for Annual Financial Report

Annual ReportFor the seventh time, MoDOT has received a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting.

The award was for financial reporting for the Missouri Transportation Finance Corporation (MTFC) Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The certificate of achievement was presented by the Government Finance Officers Association and is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.

According to the news release issued by the association, the certificate “represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.”

The CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program, including demonstrating a construction spirit of full disclosure to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

The 2014 CAFR is available for review - Annual Report.

Transit Association Visits the Capitol
Approximately 200 members of the Missouri Public Transit Association visited the State Capitol on March 17 to discuss statewide transit issues with legislators. MoDOT Multimodal Director Michelle Teel, far right, and MoDOT Administrator of Transit Dion Knipp, far left, participated in the discussions with OATS President Dorothy Yeager and OATS board members Dottie Littlejohn and Nancy Sipes.
Ice Aged Team Makes a Jailbreak for Charity!
The annual Polar Bear Strut and Plunge was held at the Lake of the Ozarks on Feb. 28. Employees from Transportation Planning, Information System and Traffic and Highway Safety participated in the event.

For the fifth year in a row, the Ice Aged plungers and their supporters made a generous contribution to Missouri’s Special Olympics. The team raised $2,587 for plunging into the frigid 37 degree water.

The 5K Strutters also raised $250 for the charity and took home top honors. Anup Choudhury won gold and Brian Reagan took silver in the male walker category. Anna Carey won gold and Damon Eliuk won bronze in the female and male 20-29 runner categories.
Plungers - left to right: Anna Carey and Josh Carey, GIS specialists, Machelle Watkins, director of transportation planning, Scott Nichols, intermediate transportation planner, Brian Reagan, transportation system analysis engineer, Damon Eliuk, transportation planner, Megan Denkler, TMS administrator, Morgan Koetting, Shelby Koetting and Anup Choudhury, intermediate information systems technologists. Not pictured: Bev Koetting, senior planning technician, Drew Williford, senior traffic studies specialist.
Strutters  - left to right: Anup Choudhury, Damon Eliuk, Brian Reagan, Anna Carey and Josh Carey.
March is Nutrition Month
newsletterLoad Up on Fruits and Vegetables
More and more, we hear about the value of eating fruits and vegetables. They give you the vitamins, minerals and fiber that you need for better health. They can keep you full while not adding too many calories to your daily diet. To live your best life, you need the right nourishment. Even if you’re not overweight, proper eating habits are key to good health.

There is so much advice available, but how do we know what’s best? That’s where Nourish nutrition management comes in. Part of Coventry WellBeingSM, Nourish is a digital coaching program that starts by analyzing your daily food intake. You have a short online consultation that asks about your diet – grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, calcium, fats, sweets and oils. Nourish also considers your readiness to change, eating habits, preferences, allergies and lifestyles. Questions are included about your health history and activity levels as well.

Learn more by reading the attached flier – March Wellness Newsletter.

Central Office Happenings

meezoneMEE Zone Events Video Library

The Mee Zone is building a video library for employees by recording Mee Zone events.  The first two videos added to the library are: Sleep Deprivation and From Tiny Seeds.


You can access the videos by visiting the Human Resources Employee Development page and clicking on the video library link. Event handouts are also available on the site - MEE Zone Videos.

MEE Zone Blog Subscribe Button

Don’t forget, the MEE Zone blog now has a subscribe button. Just click the subscribe button on the MEE Zone blog SharePoint page and receive an email every time a new blog is added - http://sharepoint/facilitation/HR/blogs/default.aspx.


For help or questions contact Amanda Henley or 573-526-5617.

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