More Signs Installed Quicker Saves Lives
Missouri ranks 5th nationally in wrong way fatalities. From 2013 to 2016, wrong-way fatalities essentially doubled in Missouri, from 14 to 27 deaths. In response, MoDOT identified a systematic safety improvement to maximize the effectiveness at capturing the attention of a wrong-way driver to prevent these high-speed, head-on crashes, which often result in multiple fatalities. These safety countermeasures included installing enhanced “DO NOT ENTER” and “WRONG WAY” signage along the top corridors experiencing fatal and serious injury wrong-way crashes. In addition to these interstate projects, we expanded the implementation at interchanges along four-lane expressways.
To get to the most locations possible as quickly as possible with limited funds, MoDOT piloted a new innovative bidding process called Fixed Price Variable Scope (FPVS). This innovative bidding method lets MoDOT set a budget, bid a project and have the contractor complete the work in a priority order until the budget is spent.
The contractor started on priority interchanges along Interstate 70 and used remaining budget money on interchanges on Route 61 in the Northeast District and U.S. Route 63 in the Central and Northeast Districts. MoDOT was able to complete all the interchanges planned along I-70 in addition to five interchanges along Route 61 and 15 interchanges along U.S. Route 63.
This allowed for treating more locations with the same budget and ultimately reduce the number of wrong-way fatalities and serious injuries. In fact, it is estimated 25 wrong-way crashes were prevented saving eight lives. With traditional bidding methods, it could have taken an additional two years before the work was completed on Routes 61 and 63.
More People Buckling Up in Missouri
There was lots of good news for seatbelt usage in Missouri this year. Not only did MoDOT’s popular Buckle Up Phone Down effort surpass 11,000 participants, but seatbelt use showed a dramatic increase over previous years. In fact, 87.7% of people are now buckling up in the Show-Me State according to a recent survey, the highest number ever recorded. “We’ve seen a 6.4% increase in usage in the past three years alone,” said Jon Nelson, executive committee chair for the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. “We’ve increased educational efforts through the Buckle Up Phone Down program statewide, and the survey results show those messages are being heard.
KEEPING ALL TRAVELERS SAFE
$1.3 Billion in Safety Benefits, 110 Lives Saved
The Smooth Roads Initiative and Better Roads, Brighter Future programs were back-to-back efforts that improved 5,600 miles of highways. Completed earlier than scheduled, the efforts delivered smoother pavement, brighter striping, rumble stripes and other safety improvements to the highways that carry 80% of Missouri’s traffic. These improvements have resulted in more than $1.3 billion of safety benefits to the customers since 2007.
$5.4 Billion in Total Customer Savings, 522 Lives Saved
In the spirit of improving safety on every Missouri road, MoDOT has provided treatments on roadways to address “run-off-the-road” crashes. By installing thousands of miles of shoulders and rumble strips on rural highways, MoDOT has reduced severe crashes by 30%. Guard cable is used on portions of interstates and other major routes, drastically reducing the number of median crossover crashes, which are often fatal. Also, high-grip surface treatments have achieved a 20% reduction in run-off-the-road crashes and help hold vehicles on the driving lanes.
$609 Million in Total Savings, 67 Lives Saved
The Diverging Diamond Interchange, first used in Springfield, Missouri in 2009, solves major traffic and safety issues at a much lower cost than traditional interchange designs. Missouri now has 24 DDIs. Many other states have followed suit, with at least one DDI of their own. J-Turns are a cost-effective alternative to an overpass on four-lane highways and reduce the number and severity of crashes. At locations where J-Turns installed, crashes are down 25% and there are 88% fewer fatalities. Missouri also uses shared four-lane highways that feature alternating passing lanes to give motorists periodic opportunities to pass without pulling into the opposing lane.
TMA-Flagger project wins Governor's Award
Four MoDOT employees received the Governor’s Quality and Productivity Pinnacle Award, which recognizes projects for innovation, efficiency and customer service. The team developed an automated flagging device that completely removes MoDOT employee flaggers from the roadway. The Pinnacle Award is given out on the rare occasion an entry receives acclaim in all available categories. Only three Pinnacle Awards have been given out since 2010, and MoDOT has received two of the three awards.