JEFFERSON CITY - As part of its five-year plan to be more efficient and cut costs, the Missouri Department of Transportation has completed restriping 5,000 miles of its most heavily-traveled roads just in time for the kickoff to summer, and one of the busiest travel weekends of the year - Memorial Day.
"Visible pavement marking is crucial to motorists' safety," said Don Hillis, MoDOT's director of System Management. "If you can't see the edge of the road, it is harder to stay in the driving lane, especially at night or in rainy conditions."
MoDOT started striping earlier, in March instead of April, and used innovative time management and less equipment to stick to their commitment of keeping roads safe while saving money. The department used just 17 stripers, instead of the former 20, to complete the striping early and give drivers brighter stripes on roads during summer's heavy travel.
"Our employees worked together and flexed their schedules so that the striping machines were running with two 40-hour shifts a week, often working six to seven days a week all over the state," said Hillis. "We did this without overtime costs, to keep our striping machines running every hour the pavement was in condition to take paint."
Striping can only be done on clean, dry pavement in temperatures that are above freezing. The stripe includes a combination of paint and reflective glass beads all put down by the same machine. The department has three less stripers this year than last year.
As part of the department's new Five-Year Direction, MoDOT is focusing on preserving the existing highway system. More practical operations and cost-saving measures are being implemented in many areas, including signing, striping, mowing and vegetation control, winter operations, and litter control, as well as reductions in personnel, equipment and facilities. The savings from each of these areas will be redirected to achieving the Five Year Direction.