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08 September 2011

Lichtenegger: Knowing Your Missouri State Departments: Department of Transportation

There most likely is not a single Missourian that is not affected by the Department of Transportation. Even if you’re too young to drive, traveling safety depends in part on safe roads and highways. We came by most of our possession and commodities -from our beds to the food on the dinner table- as a result of transportations of these products from the manufacturer to stores to our homes.

Of course the focus of this Capitol Report is on the Missouri DOT – commonly referred to MODOT. As citizens of a highly industrialized nation we depend on the state and federal departments of transportations to work together to maintain interstate highways; and we depend on our county commissions and city municipalities to do their part with respect to the roads under their governance. However, when it comes to our state roads MODOT is the “go-to” department. And with winter fast approaching you’re going to want quick access to road conditions, lanes closures, construction locations and bridge work.

The Department of Transportation has a lot to live up to considering its Mission Statement: Our mission is to provide a world-class transportation experience that delights our customers and promotes a prosperous Missouri.

One central office oversees ten regional districts. My constituents reside in MODOT’s Southeast District 10. Our District Engineer, Mark Shelton, and our Community Relations Manager, Nicole Thieret, both have been very helpful in explaining the department’s new Bolder Five-Year Direction initiative. They both serve the district tirelessly and efficiently.

You might be surprised at just how much information and insight you can gain by visiting the department’s website. There you can view state wide projects, services, dozens of links to other Modes of Transportation.

And link here to view the various MODOT Services. You’ll find details regarding many of the support functions the department provides to agencies, communities and people of the state. Engineering services like value engineering, research reports and environmental studies can be found here. Also included is information on travel services like Motorist Assist and community service programs such as Adopt-A-Highway, work-zone safety and scenic byways.

Need quick information on road conditions? The Missouri Traveler's Map will give you a full scope of state-travel. Interested in a specific location? Right-click and select Show Zoom Controls. A menu box will appear wherein you can select the city, county or region of interest and the map will auto-zoom to it. Be sure to notice the icons on the map, which if you hover over you can read –to the right- what is the road construction or condition and whether you can expect a travel delay.

Constituent Corner


Most of you have heard the news that the Department of Health and Senior Services has taken over the duties of the Home Health Care assessments previously conducted by SynCare. This past week I visited SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence (SADI) to help my understanding of how the assessments were previously handled by the home health care providers; what improvements need to take place in future assessments; and how the accuracy of these assessments affect home care services allowed for Medicaid recipients.

It was a very profitable meeting, and I plan to make several recommendations; offer suggestions for improved home health care assessments; and communicate what I’ve learned to my legislative colleagues and to the Appropriations Committee for which am Vice-Chair. I would like to thank SADI RN, LaRue McAllister, for setting up this meeting and other SADI employees for taking the time out of their busy schedule to accommodate me.

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