July 2 , 2015

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Northwest District
Power To The People

The Northwest District is in the process of installing a backup generator at the district office complex. For many years, the district used a small generator, allowing the Emergency Operations Center and fuel pumps to continue running during power outages. The smaller generator, however, left the majority of the two office buildings on the district office complex in the dark in emergency situations.

The new, larger generator being installed at the Northwest District Office complex will be able to power both office buildings in the event of a power outage.

For quite a while, Facility Operations Supervisor Matt Sonner has been working on a cost-effective solution that will work for the complex. A new, larger generator is currently being installed near our General Services department. Once the project is complete, if an outage occurs, there may be a brief interruption in power, usually no more than 30 seconds, but then work should be able to resume as normal in both office buildings. The generator has a transfer switch that senses a power loss and automatically turns on the generator.

Sonner and his team have worked to minimize the impact of the new generator installation for district office employees. The contractor has been asked to only turn off power to the district office complex between the hours of 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. during the week or from Friday at 5 p.m. until Monday at 6 a.m. They have not needed to yet, but will notify all district office employees of outages, so work hours may be adjusted if needed. 

After the installation of the new generator, Sonner and the Maintenance department will work to find the best place to relocate the old, but still usable, smaller generator. The new generator project is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 11.

Filling the hole
Contractors began filling the hole for some of the new underground lines which will connect the generator to the complex.
Filling the hole as seen from above
This view from above gives a better perspective on the size of the hole, which took an entire truckload of gravel to fill.
MoDOT Cares

The phrase "MoDOT Cares" can be seen on digital message boards throughout the state, but it's definitely true of the Northwest District. Not only did employees come through with food and money donations as part of the Annual MoDOT Food Drive, but two blood drives in the district will save many lives in our area as well.

From canned corn to cleaning products, district employees gathered food throughout the month of June as part of the statewide food drive. In addition, district drive organizer and Senior Customer Service Representative Shelly Aebersold received more than $120 in cash donations. Second Harvest Community Food Bank is able to triple the buying power of that amount, combining it with the food donations, so many families across our region will benefit from our employees' continued generosity.

A blood drive was held on June 30 in the Northwest District Conference Center and staff from the Community Blood Center in St. Joseph were very pleased with the turnout. Each donor received a buy-one-get-one voucher for Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City. A second drive is scheduled for July 8 at the Chillicothe complex. All donors at that drive will receive two tickets to a Kansas City Royals game. Contact Tammy Meneely at 660-646-3218 if you'd like to participate in the July 8 drive.

Employees donating blood
Roadside Intermediate Maintenance Worker Scott Witkowski and Outdoor Advertising and Permit Specialist Melissa Schmitz both donated during the blood drive held at the District Office on June 30.
Kevin Lytton giving blood
Roadside Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Lytton reads over some of the paperwork provided to all those who donated.
Donated food
Several boxes of food and toiletry items as well as cash donations were collected across the district for Second Harvest Community Food Bank.
Steve Stratton after donating
Roadside Maintenance Crew Leader Steve Stratton knows that, in addition to saving lives, one of the best perks of giving is the snacks afterwards!

For more info

Marcia Johnson
Communications Specialist
Northwest District

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