Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Statewide Drill Reinforces Safety, Sharpens Skills, Keeps Missourians Moving

It’s a good thing we took the time to do the Statewide Snow Drill the first part of November, because last weekend was the real thing.

I was in southwest Missouri on Sunday and the team did a great job on the roads. I noticed that many trucks had two people in them getting ride-alongs done, so folks are ready to solo on the next storm. 
Safety is of the utmost importance, and especially so during the changing conditions in a snow fight. 

Last week at the Tracker meeting, we worked on how to make winter ops as safe as we can make it. Our field teams from all districts shared what they are doing so we can get better statewide. I asked Jeff Padgett how we did on reportable incidents this weekend, and he thought we might have had one minor incident statewide.

Getting better each storm and staying safe is the goal. Thanks to all of you who went out this weekend making travel safe for our customers.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

MoDOT Honors Employee Veterans

Next Wednesday, Nov. 12, MoDOT will honor our employees who have served in the armed forces. Our veterans have dedicated years of their lives and time with their families to serve and strengthen our country.  We want to show them our thanks with a small celebration and offer them certificates as a small gesture of our appreciation for their service.

The Central Office event will take place at 9 a.m. at 105 W. Capitol, Room 100. It is open for all employees to attend. Family members of our veterans are also invited. Refreshments will be served following the ceremony.

If you are a district employee and wish to participate, contact your supervisor to find and when and where your local event is taking place.

Our veterans have given a lot to our nation.  This is an excellent time to show them our appreciation, respect and support.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fall meetings offer opportunities for both employees and executive team

It's fall meeting time across the state. Roberta Broeker, Kathy Harvey and I are making it a priority this year to get to as many fall meetings as we can over the next few weeks. 

It is important to me that employees get to interact with leadership in person. It is very valuable to me to hear directly from you on what is going well and what concerns you have. In the satisfaction survey there was some concern expressed about decision-making and time allowed to get things done by executive leadership. 

By getting out and talking with folks, hopefully you will better understand what we are doing and we won't be nameless, faceless folks from Central Office.

In the meantime,  I look forward to seeing you at the fall meetings!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Employees Invited to Day of Remembrance

John P. Allman.

If the name doesn't ring a bell, don’t worry. You probably didn't know him.  He was the first recorded highway worker to die in a work zone.  The date was July 28, 1932.  He was the first to fall, but he would not be the last.

Since the day Allman lost his life, 130 other MoDOT workers have died while doing their jobs on Missouri’s transportation system. I personally knew some of the folks we honor. Their families are still connected to the MoDOT family and come to the events we have like this. I hope that in the future we won’t personally know any of the folks we honor.

Next Thursday, Sept. 18, we will observe our second annual MoDOT Day of Remembrance, and take a few moments to honor the memory of our 131 fallen co-workers.

I invite Central Office employees to assemble at the Fallen Workers Memorial. The ceremony will begin at 1:31 p.m.  Districts will also hold individuals ceremonies on that time, so anyone who can, should attend their local ceremony.

Another way you can show your support is to wear orange clothing or any clothing with a MoDOT logo.  No matter how you participate, please take a moment at 1:31 p.m. -- or anytime that day -- to remember those we have lost.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Staying on course

I know you are as disappointed about last week’s election as I am.  But the people of Missouri have spoken and we respect that.

The question now is: What next?

We have said repeatedly that our direction is:

  • Keeping ourselves and our customers safe
  • Keeping our roads and bridges as in the best condition we can, for as long as we can, with the resources we have
  • Providing outstanding customer service

The direction has not changed and we will stick to them.

Setting priorities among the equally important projects will be a tough job and we’ll work closely with our planning partners, local governments and customers to do this.

The vision for transportation that our citizens helped us assemble will continue to be our long-term focus. But without funding to make that a reality, we will be forced to pace our efforts until a transportation-funding solution is found that Missourians can accept.

Just to let you know, we are not making changes to our staffing numbers. 5,106 was our target number and that’s where we’ll stay.

In the end, we will take care of what with have, as best as we can, for as long as we can. And we will keep ourselves and our customers safe.  That’s our direction and we will stay on course.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Project List for Amendment 7 Approved

Yesterday, the commission approved the project list required by Amendment 7.  With more than 800 projects across the state, the list addresses a variety of transportation needs for Missouri.

These projects will benefit the state’s economy, create jobs, broaden transportation options and improve the safety of our roads and bridges.

The list was compiled by our transportation partners across the state. They have been working with citizens for years to gather and prioritize their area needs.

MoDOT worked with these partners to choose projects that would benefit Missourians from all walks of life, both in urban and rural areas.  We are confident that these projects are the right ones for the funds that will become available if Amendment 7 passes on Aug. 5.

The ¾ cent sales tax is not enough to make everyone’s wishes come true, but it is sufficient to meet these obligations and help us match federal funds in the near future.

We’ll never have enough to do every project for everyone. But we know how to get the most from the funds we have.

I believe when Missourians review this final list, they will see the economic and safety benefits of every project.  I believe they will see it serves a wide cross section of transportation options that will benefit all Missourians for many years to come.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Open Houses Give Us a Chance to Educate, Listen

Last year, MoDOT and its partners held listening sessions across the state to gather input from Missouri citizens on what they wanted from their transportation system. On the Move gave us a chance to talk to thousands of people and collect several ideas about the state’s transportation future.

Working with local and regional planning partners we have now pulled that input together into draft project lists for Moving Forward.

The project lists are in draft form and the public is weighing in on each region’s vision for Missouri’s transportation system if Amendment 7 passes.

Open Houses are being held around the state to give people a chance to review district project maps and lists to make sure we are meeting the needs and expectations of Missourians. Around 43 open houses will be held by the time the comment period ends.

MoDOT staff attends these meetings, to answer questions and fill in details so the public will know where we plan to go.

We are compiling an extensive list of comments from our customers through a variety of ways.  We hand out comment forms at the meetings.  We also steer people to our Moving Forward website so they may take time to review the lists and maps at their convenience.

After the comment period ends, the Commission and our partners will review each comment.  As of today, we have more than 600!

These comments WILL have an impact on the final project list. The public’s voice will be heard during this process. But just as we’ll never have enough money to do everything that our customers want, we won’t be able to respond or incorporate every suggestion.

For MoDOT this comment period is critical. This is our opportunity to educate the public on the state’s transportation needs but also to listen to what our customer’s think about the future of Missouri.