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Flickr User Jack Snell

  Damage to railroad tracks caused by last week's flash flooding in west-central Missouri is forcing changes in Amtrak passenger service.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says that some passengers on Amtrak's Missouri River Runner between Kansas City and St. Louis will travel by bus instead of train this week.

Heavy rain last Thursday damaged a section of track east of Warrensburg. Union Pacific is doing repairs that require afternoon closings through Friday.

Trains
The Wingy / Flickr

Missouri transportation officials are taking a closer look at how freight can be moved more efficiently across the state by trucks, barges, planes and trains.

File / KBIA

Even with a potential federal government shutdown next week, some of Missouri’s programs and agencies will continue to operate as usual.

Emily Cain, the press secretary for the federal Office of Management and Budget, said that the Obama administration believes that a lapse in appropriations will not occur.

In addition, she said that the administration is “willing to work with Congress to enact a short-term continuing resolution to fund critical government operations.”

Samantha Edmonson

The Missouri Department of Transportation has begun re-opening many Mid-Missouri roads and highways that were closed due to flooding, but some county roads are still affected, particularly those near the Osage River.

MODOT reopened the 14 mile stretch of I-44 near Jerome southwest of Rolla Thursday morning, which had been closed for nearly 24 hours. Highway 63 near Westphalia was also closed Wednesday afternoon due to water on the road, but that route was also re-opened Thursday morning.

Dave Herholz / Flickr

Ridership on Amtrak's Missouri River Runner passenger trains between Kansas City and St. Louis has increased for the sixth straight year.

MoDOT says nearly 197,000 passengers rode the train in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That's an increase of roughly 5,000 riders from the previous year.

The increase means more revenue from tickets, which reduces the financial support required from the state. Ticket revenue was $5.4 million in the latest fiscal year, compared with $5 million the previous year.

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

MoDOT
File photo / MoDot

  Missouri has received a federal grant to test a new type of road treatment intended to keep cars from slipping off highways when it rains or snows.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says it will apply the "high friction surface treatment" to a pair of curves on U.S. 54 and Missouri 179 in Jefferson City.

If the agency has enough money, it may also apply the treatment at two sites on Interstate 44 near Rolla.

MoDOT
File photo / MoDot

Missouri is one of 13 states that will get federal grant money to improve road conditions.

As a part of the Everyday Counts initiative Missouri was granted $150,000 to implement new road technology to improve road safety. Travis Koestner, Assistant District Engineer at Missouri Department of Transportation, says this money will go towards a road re-surfacing project using High Friction Surface Treatment. 

Missouri S&T

As avid explorers of drone technology ourselves, we were excited to hear about Missouri S&T's experiments using drones to aid in bridge inspection. Full Disclosure: I run the Missouri Drone Journalism Program, which is no stranger to controversy.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

  • Mo. report finds racial disparity in traffic stops
  • MoDOT names new chief engineer
  • Drivers asked to be cautious due to heavy rainfall
Photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Transportation

The Missouri Department of Transportation has a new chief engineer.

Transportation director Dave Nichols has tapped Ed Hassinger for the post. Hassinger was the department's top engineer for the St. Louis region for the last 12 years. He has been with the department for almost 30 years.

What's wrong with bridges in Missouri?

May 29, 2013
bodkin / Flickr

The collapse of a county highway bridge in southeast Missouri on Saturday was almost certainly not due to structural defects. And the fact that this collapse came on the heels of a similar disaster in Washington state is unfortunate but not necessarily related. Yet it's just a plain fact that bridges in Missouri are aging rapidly and are in serious need of repair.

highway
Dreamstime

Civil engineers say Missouri's infrastructure gets only a C-minus.

The regional chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers released the letter grade Wednesday. It is part of a report card that evaluated the state's aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, inland waterways, levees, railroads, roads, schools and wastewater. Each sub-category also received a grade.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A proposed 1-cent sales tax for transportation has stalled in the Missouri Legislature.

The sales tax proposal was projected to generate nearly $8 billion over a decade for state highways, local roads and other modes of transportation such as railroads, airports, mass transit and river ports. Cities and counties would each get 5 percent of the revenues, with the rest going to state projects. Voters would have had to approve the tax in 2014 to enact the proposal.

amandabhslater / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Transportation reports that it's filled more than 10,000 potholes in central Missouri in the past month, as part 0f its "Missouri Pothole Patrol" program to address problems on roadways produced by the spring thawing.  MoDot launched the pothole patrol in mid-march in an effort to fix Missouri potholes as soon as possible. 

The program was in effect from March 18th to April 15th.  Mo-Dot’s Sally Oxenhandler says that even though the department filled over ten thousand potholes, there is still work to be done.

Evan Townsend / KBIA

For Earth Day,  the Missouri Department of Transportation hosted its 11th annual “No MOre Trash! Bash. Department employees volunteered to pick up litter and debris along a stretch of Route 94 in Callaway "County.  This year nine people showed up to spend a few off-the-clock hours taking care of Missouri’s roads. 

The event is a way for MoDOT to highlight their Adopt-a-Highway program, where anyone can volunteer to maintain a stretch of roadway. District engineer David Silvester says he hopes raising awareness of the program will also get more volunteers.

MoDOT

The Missouri Department of Transportation has issued a travel advisory for the weekend because of anticipated snowfalls of up to three inches per hour that could make driving nearly impossible at times.

Rain is expected to turn to snow Saturday afternoon across the state, posing a risk for travelers because of the rate of snowfall and lack of visibility. The storm is expected to continue until about noon Sunday in the western part of Missouri and taper off across the state throughout the day.

The director of Missouri's Department of Transportation is taking a medical leave of absence and plans to resign his post.

The department announced Thursday that Kevin Keith's leave is effective immediately and he will resign July 1.

Chief engineer David Nichols will serve as interim director until the state Highways and Transportation Commission appoints a new director. Commission chairman Joe Carmichael says Nichols will remain interim director for at least one year.

Legislation has been filed in the Missouri Senate that would create a temporary sales tax dedicated to funding transportation needs statewide.

The proposed constitutional amendment would create a one-cent sales tax that would expire after 10 years.  It’s co-sponsored by State Senator Mike Kehoe (R, Jefferson City).  He says the one-penny tax would not be levied on groceries, prescription medicine or fuel.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

  • Traffic fatalities up in 2012 according to MoDOT
  • Republicans to tackle workers' compensation
  • MU researcher awarded National Medal of Science

The Missouri Department of Transportation is reporting a slight increase in traffic fatalities for the year 2012 – that’s expected to be about a 3 percent increase from last year.

Mailbox in snow
Kyle Deas

Officials are discouraging travel in southeastern Missouri until crews clear the roads from what was expected to be heavy snowfall with blizzard conditions.

The National Weather Service placed 13 counties from the Bootheel to north of Cape Girardeau under a blizzard warning from Tuesday night to midday today. Total accumulations were expected to range from three inches in the Bootheel to 12 inches farther north.

Rachel Lippmann / St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Department of Transportation says it’s ready for the winter storm that’s supposed to hit the St. Louis area and portions of south central Missouri and the Ozarks over Christmas.

MoDOT to complete bridge campaign ahead of schedule

Oct 26, 2012
MoDOT
File photo / MoDot

The largest bridge rebuilding program in Missouri’s history will soon be finished more than a year ahead of schedule.

MoDOT watches closely for careless drivers

Oct 15, 2012

This week Missouri law enforcement will be paying more attention to careless drivers as part of MoDOT’s Operation Safe Driver Week.

The event aims to raise awareness about safety issues when dealing with aggressive drivers and when driving near large trucks.

Missouri drivers may notice some ominous messages along the state's roadsides.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says it has begun using its electronic message signs along highways to report the number of people who have died on the state's roads so far this year. The messages also include the percentage of those killed who were not wearing seat belts.

The new safety campaign comes as Missouri has seen a 14 percent increase in traffic fatalities this year — an unwelcome reversal after six years of declining fatality figures.

dreamstime

Despite the extremely dry and hot conditions that have created infrastructure problems elsewhere, Missouri Department of Transportation officials say the state roads are holding up well.      

Move over for MoDOT workers -- it's the law

Jul 10, 2012
MoDOT Photos / Flickr

Governor Jay Nixon has been on a signing spree this week, signing into law close to 30 bills in the past two days. Among them, a law requiring highway drivers to move over when passing parked MoDOT vehicles.

Two familiar names in St. Louis construction have won a Missouri Department of Transportation contract to rebuild the Daniel Boone Bridge, which carries Interstate 64 across the Missouri River at Chesterfield.

Alberici Enterprises and Walsh Construction will start on the $125 million project in early 2013. The construction portion of the contract totals $111 million.

MoDOT director Kevin Keith called it a great day for his department and the region, saying St. Louis and St. Charles counties are getting a lot from the contract.

Doug Bradley Photography / Flickr

Missouri drivers may notice a change in the landscape along roadways and medians later this summer — more grass.

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