October 9, 2014

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Flash flooding caused several routes to be closed in September in northwest Missouri, including an extended closure of a bridge due to excessive scour. Crews from the Northwest and Northeast districts worked several closures on U.S. Hwy 36, including a closure near New Cambria that called for collaborative efforts to re-route traffic across district lines and determine if anhydrous tanks that floated downstream posed a threat to travelers or the culvert against which they came to rest. All but one of the tanks were full and traffic was redirected in case one ruptured while moving. Thankfully, all were removed safely and the road was able to be reopened as soon as the flooding subsided.

The bridge over the Nodaway River on the border between Nodaway and Holt counties had to be closed after flash flooding caused excessive scour around one of the bridge supports and on the riverbank. The bridge is on the main route between Maitland and Graham, which are only two miles apart and share a school district.

Inspectors waited until the floodwaters receded to do an extensive inspection of the underwater structures and the stability of the bank. The bridge, built in 1963, was reopened, but significant scour had occurred around the footings of one bridge support and a 20-ton weight restriction was put in place until crews could stabilize the footings with rock. Luckily, there wasn't any additional flash flooding, which would have prolonged the closure.

Water on the road on US Hwy 65 south of US Hwy 36
Local radio reporters were reporting water over the road when Maintenance Superintendent Brad Gates took this picture on U.S. Hwy 65 south of U.S. Hwy 36. As he said, there's water ON the road, but not over it! Thankfully, the water didn't close U.S. Hwy 65 this time.
Water on US Hwy 36 at Utica
Flooding from Medicine Creek closed the westbound lanes of U.S. Hwy 36 near Utica. Traffic was rerouted head to head in the eastbound lanes until waters receded.
Anhydrous tanks floated down stream and came to rest against a culvert
Severaly anhydrous tanks floated down the swollen stream during recent flooding and came to rest against a box culvert under U.S. Hwy 36 near New Cambria. It took quite a bit of water to move that many tanks, especially since all but one of the tanks was full.
Josephine Expo
The Northwest District participated in this year's annual Josephine Expo, billed as a "day of fun for women" with booths, shopping, live music, fashion shows, a food court and more. This is the second time the district has had a booth at the expo, which is held in St. Joseph. Several employees from maintenance, safety, customer relations and human resources staffed the MoDOT booth where we gave away several hundred maps. We also handed out cards with the job application's website address, letting attendees know that MoDOT was hiring, we passed out pins, coloring sheets and magnets, and signed folks up to receive updates about roadwork in their area.
MoDOT's table before guests arrived
The theme of this year's Expo was "A Treat For Her" and MoDOT brought a variety of treats including maps and coloring pages. For many that stopped by the booth, though, the biggest treat was hearing that MoDOT was hiring!
Civic Arena before guests arrived
St. Joseph's Civic Arena had two floors of booths and vendors ready to greet guests at the Josephine Expo. This shot was taken before the doors opened to the public.
Risk Management Office Assistant Amber Dydell
Risk Management Office Assistant Amber Dydell is ready to help at the MoDOT table at the Josephine Expo.
Human Resources Manager Kendra Ezzell
Human Resources Manager Kendra Ezzell helped guests get materials that were related to their interests, whether it was a map, coloring pages or to sign up for traffic alerts.
Blueprint for Safety Conference

Fourteen Northwest Region Coalition for Roadway Safety members and six MoDOT employees trekked to St. Louis for the Gateway To Saving Lives: On The Road To Zero conference Sept. 29 through Oct. 1. General sessions had speakers from the National Safety Council, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, and Federal Highway Administration, among others. Breakout sessions focused on the four "Es" of Blueprint: Engineering, Education, Enforcement and Emergency Services. Our Northwest delegation learned about new programs and practices that can be put in place across our 20-county region, and across the state.

Day One General Session of the conference
Members of the Northwest Region Coalition for Roadway Safety await the first speakers of the conference. Pictured from the back left are: Richard Ketchem, St. Joseph Police Department; Lana Allen, MoDOT; Linda Laderoute, Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments; Amber Dydell, MoDOT; Allison Brucker, MoDOT
Last Day General Session of the conference
Wearing their conference t-shirts on the last day, members of the Northwest Coalition mingled with colleagues as they waited for the last speakers of the conference. More photos from the conference can be found on the MoDOT Flickr page.
Field Check

Several Northwest District personnel recently conducted a field check on U.S. Hwy 24 in Chariton County. If you asked what a field check entails, you're not alone! Area Engineer Tonya Lohman provided the following explanation:

When a project is picked by the Planning Team to be placed in the STIP, there are several factors to take into consideration including input from the district pavement specialist and the regional planning commission, limits from previous projects, comments received by the area engineers and other circumstances individual to the project.  It's then scoped by design as to what kind of pavement and any other considerations that need to be taken into account such as signals.  A field check is then organized with construction, maintenance, design, and the area engineer.  The team drives and walks the project to determine the absolute must-have needs of the project, items that would be of benefit but aren't absolutely required and the priority for those extra items, if they can be added.

Field checks are done as needed to begin design, as mentioned above, to review plans or if additional changes are required on an existing project.

Thanks also go to Tonya Lohman for the photo below.

Field Check on US Hwy 24 in Chariton County
Many departments collaborated for a field check on U.S. Hwy 24 in Chariton County. Pictured left to right are: Senior Highway Designer Joyce Reynolds, Resident Engineer James Gillespie, Transportation Project Manager Wes Moore, Transportation Project Designer Greg Anderson and Assistant District Construction and Materials Engineer Austin Hibler.

For more info

Marcia Johnson
Customer Relations Specialist
Northwest District

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