According to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), its top accomplishment in 2006 was completing the Smooth Roads Initiative (SRI) a year ahead of schedule.
"Gov. Matt Blunt challenged us to complete the Smooth Roads Initiative by December 2006, a full year early, and I'm pleased to say we delivered," said MoDOT Director Pete Rahn. "We're working hard to show Missouri taxpayers we're accountable and to show them progress as promised — even progress ahead of schedule."
Among the department's other top accomplishments for 2006 are:
Smooth Roads Initiative. MoDOT's Smooth Roads Initiative delivered smoother pavement, brighter striping, rumble stripes, and other safety improvements on Missouri's most heavily traveled highways. With the completion of the initiative, about 70 percent of the state's major roads are in good condition. A recent Overdrive magazine survey of truckers nationwide showed interstates 44 and 70 among the nation's most improved highways.
Biggest Construction Season Ever. Missourians encountered more than 1,000 work zones this year as MoDOT tackled its biggest construction season ever —$1.4 billion worth of construction work.
Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Plan. MoDOT announced plans to improve 802 of Missouri's worst bridges by 2012. At least one bridge in every county is included in the plan.
The New I-64. On Nov. 17, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission awarded a contract for the largest highway project in Missouri history. The New I-64 project will reconstruct more than 10 miles of Interstate 64 in St. Louis at a cost of $535 million. Construction will start in spring 2007, with completion in summer 2010.
New Safety Laws. Several key laws passed this year, including increased penalties for injuring or killing workers in work zones.
Emergency Reference Markers. New emergency reference markers went up across the state to help travelers instantly determine their exact location and direction of travel on Missouri's interstate highways — a key benefit in an emergency.
Guard Cable Installation. MoDOT installed median guard cable on Interstate 70, an initiative that prevented vehicles from crossing the median along this corridor 94 percent of the time in 2005. Interstates 44 and 29 are also receiving these median barriers.
Greener Trucks. MoDOT got a little greener in the last year by becoming the first government agency in the nation to test new energy-saving diesel-electric bucket trucks.
Springfield to St. Louis Amtrak Service. To help travelers combat congestion and high gas prices and provide an additional transportation choice for Missourians, the department began exploring the option of adding an Amtrak rail line between Springfield and St. Louis.