SIKESTON - As you drive across Missouri this April, you may see more orange than normal. No, it won't be the usual cones and barrels seen as MoDOT is working on the roads. This orange will be found on buildings, landmarks and businesses across the state and is designed to remind you just how important it is to slow down when you see that other orange while driving.
Operation Orange will be in full swing April 7-11 during National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week. MoDOT has asked cities, businesses and organizations to partner to raise awareness of work zone safety and of the precious lives driving through and working in Missouri's work zones. These groups have offered to turn the lighting orange on their offices and landmarks.
"There is nothing more important to us than making sure that people get safely through our work zones as we improve their travel and that our employees get safely home after a job well done," says MoDOT District Engineer Mark Shelton. "Anything we can do to remind people the importance of slowing down, staying alert and obeying the work zone signs can truly save lives and it is worth any effort."
Local Water Towers, Buildings & Signs Go Orange
Southeast Missouri Residents will see plenty of orange in April. Participating organizations to temporarily light orange in an effort to make work zones safer include:
· City of Cape Girardeau
· Cape Girardeau Central High School
· Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center
· Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop E, Poplar Bluff and Sikeston offices
· Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce
· Pemiscot County Courthouse
· City of Farmington's water tower
· MoDOT District Office, Sikeston
Drivers along Interstate 55 may notice a change in several of the billboards. MoDOT has partnered with Drury Southwest Signs to light several of its billboards orange during Work Zone Safety Awareness Week.
"We've turned our regular billboard lighting orange in hopes of reminding drivers on the interstate just how important it is to slow down in work zones, protect workers and safely get to their destination," says Jeff Bohnert, Drury Southwest Signs.
An Orange Bridge & Lighting Ceremony
The city of Cape Girardeau and the Cape Chamber of Commerce have worked with MoDOT to turn the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge's normal aesthetic lighting orange for the week.
A ceremony will be held on Monday, April 7, at 8:30 p.m. to light the bridge orange, honor the men and women who serve the public in work zones and remember those who have lost their lives there. The ceremony will be held on the Mississippi River Scenic Overlook (site of the old Mississippi River Bridge). In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the Glenn Convocation Center at the River Campus. The public is invited to attend.
A complete listing of Operation Orange participating locations statewide is available on MoDOT's website at http://www.modot.org/. For more information, contact Shelton at (573) 472-5340 or call MoDOT's Customer Service Center at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).