HANNIBAL - Highway work zones, large and small, help keep motorists and workers safe while improving the road. "Whether we are building an interchange or filling potholes, the goal is to keep the area safe for the travelling public and those actually working on the road," said Kevin James, assistant district engineer for MoDOT's Northeast District. To continue to bring awareness to work zones, MoDOT will have its mascot Barrel Bob overlooking some of the areas, including in Palmyra, Troy, Hannibal, Moberly, Macon and Kirksville.
A kickoff event for Work Zone Awareness Week, April 23 - 27, will be held in Palmyra at Brown's Furniture parking lot on Tuesday, April 24 between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Anyone who stops by will receive orange "reminders" that will help them remember to slow down and pay attention in work zones and be given the opportunity to have pictures taken with the oversized mascot, Barrel Bob, who can be found both on Facebook and in the work zone.
James said the major work zones this year include the improvements on US 61 through Palmyra, the improvements in Hannibal at West Ely/Pleasant and US 61, the interchange being built in Troy along US 61 and South Lincoln Drive, and several resurfacing projects on both major and minor roads throughout the 17-county area in northeast Missouri. "We also have several chip seals, a lot of shoulder work, and other improvements on the smaller roads, and we appreciate drivers being patient as they approach and drive through the work zone," he added.
In order to continue to improve safety for the travelling public, MoDOT is encouraging drivers to rate its work zones. "We will make cards accessible in work zones or they can complete the information online once they get to their destination," James said.
In 2011, there were 11 people killed in highway work zones in Missouri, and 701 were injured. The top causes of work zone crashes include inattention, following too closely and speeding. "One of the best defenses against injury is to ensure you are wearing your seat belt at all times while driving or riding," James added.
All road work can be found online at modot.org/northeast and updates are made on a daily basis. Those interested also can sign up for email updates on road work in their areas by clicking on the e-update link. The traveler information map shows all active work zones and provides other information beneficial to planning a trip. MoDOT also provides live customer service representatives available 24/7 by calling 1-888 ASK MODOT (1-888-275-6636).