April 19, 2011
On the heels Work Zone Awareness Week, Missouri has been chosen from several other state nominees to host the national work zone kick-off event on Monday, April 23, 2012.
“We wanted to select a state that’s doing something wonderful that could be shared with the rest of the nation,” said James Baron, director of communications for the American Traffic Safety Services Association. “The national committee selected Missouri because we were really impressed with what the state is doing with work zone awareness.”
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) uses a coordinated, comprehensive approach to keep motorists and workers safe in work zones.
The agency’s annual effort involves education, enforcement and engineering practices to keep traffic moving safely.
The kick-off event will take place on Route 141 in St. Louis County. The Route 141 project reconstructs a two-mile stretch of the roadway, upgrading the road from a three-lane road with at-grade intersections into a six-lane freeway with multiple interchanges.
The roadway will enhance the flow of traffic through the region, reduce congestion and generate an estimated $1 billion in economic activity over the next 20 years. The $45 million Route 141 project is Missouri’s largest American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project.
“This combination of a major construction project, extensive cooperation between state and local governments, environmental stewardship and construction innovation makes this a perfect location for a national event about work zone safety,” said Don Hillis, MoDOT’s Director of System Management. “Missouri has the opportunity to highlight a first-class construction project and show how transportation affects each and every one of us every day, whether we’re talking about work zone safety, traffic flow, reducing congestion or supporting jobs.”
Every April since 2000, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) have joined together to host a national event to recognize and focus on roadway work zone safety. The event, as we know it today, is National Work Zone Awareness Week.
The original concept was to rotate the annual April “kick-off” within the Washington, D.C. metro area between the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
Today’s national WZAW Executive Committee concluded the best way to determine a host state for the 2012 and future national media events would be though a competitive selection process.
Besides receiving funds to help cover event costs, Missouri will receive a trophy to display for the entire year.
The event will be covered by AASHTO television and recognized in national press releases by the Federal Highway Administration.
The National Work Zone Memorial will also be shipped to the state at no cost for inclusion as a centerpiece of the national kick-off.