CARROLLTON, Mo. — During the warm-weather months, Missouri drivers become accustomed to seeing Missouri Department of Transportation workers on their area roads and highways. However, safety around them and their work zones remains a point of focus for MoDOT. One procedure that they do – “restriping” the roadways – can be especially dangerous, and following proper safety precautions while driving through restriping projects is of extra importance.
MoDOT’s district maintenance and safety engineer, Tonya Lohman, illustrates what a restriping project consists of and why the department conducts them.
“We do the striping on the roadways at this time because the paint only sticks sufficiently when you’re at 50 degrees and rising, so we do it in the spring, summer, and fall months,” Lohman said.
We typically focus on our lettered roads – which are lower-volume, blacktop roadways – in the spring and fall months,” Lohman said. Additionally , they do the larger, higher-volume roadways – such as interstates and numbered highways – more in the summer months.
Lohman gives valuable tips to motorists driving through the projects.
“Safety is the number one component of what we’re trying to do,” she said. “It’s the biggest factor in striping, even moreso than any other operation that we do, because our crews are only traveling at eight to 12 mph.”
“It really helps if (drivers) aren’t texting or on the phone while driving, because while you drive distracted, you can cover so much more ground in a few seconds and then you come up on that really-slow moving striping train and crash,” Lohman said. “We have had so many of our teammates hit, I think we’ve already had three hit this year and we just started across the state. I don’t remember if it was last year or the year before, but we had 11 hit.”
While there are observable precautions for driving while striping projects are occuring, Lohman has a tip for members of the listening public that would rather avoid driving through MoDOT work zones: download the Traveler’s Information Map.
The TIM is available for download from the app stores for most cell phones and lists all of MoDOT’s active work zones. The map can help keep motorists – such as those transporting farm equipment or mobile homes, for instance – from having to travel through workzones when avoidable, and is additionally available at http://traveler.modot.org/map/.