Expect the Unexpected: Be Alert for Winter Work Zones

JEFFERSON CITY – Road maintenance doesn’t take a break for the winter. When snow and ice are cleared from the roads and forecast, drivers should expect to see maintenance crews at work on Missouri’s highways, often in slow moving operations.

Fluctuating temperatures and precipitation mean potholes and other types of pavement damage are common during Missouri winters. As the weather allows, the Missouri Department of Transportation will have crews making repairs to roads and bridges throughout the winter season.

“You might not expect to see us in anything except snowplows during these winter months, but the reality is there is still road and bridge maintenance to be done,” said Becky Allmeroth, MoDOT’s chief safety and operations officer. “Stay alert for our slow-moving work zones making these repairs, even when you least expect it.”

In 2020, MoDOT’s truck/trailer-mounted attenuators (TMA), were struck a record-setting 48 times, compared to 36 in 2019. These protective vehicles serve as a warning to traffic approaching a temporary mobile work zone and are the only thing separating workers making road repairs and the traveling public.

Since 2018, nearly two-thirds of all TMAs struck during pothole patching operations occurred during the winter months of November-March. Many of these crashes were the result of drivers not paying attention and/or speeding.

“These trucks are designed to get your attention and warn you about the work zone ahead with flashing lights and arrow boards,” said Allmeroth. “But we still rely on you to focus and make the decision to slow down and move over, for your safety and ours.”

When motorists approach MoDOT or any other responders or emergency vehicles on the side of the highway with flashing lights, they should move over. Missouri’s Move Over law requires drivers to either change lanes or slow down when approaching MoDOT, law enforcement or other emergency vehicles with flashing lights.

Drivers can report the location of potholes and other road repair needs by calling 888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636) or by visiting modot.org/report-road-concern. Do not use a mobile device while behind the wheel, and pay attention to your surroundings to spot mobile work zones in advance. For more information on road work near you, visit modot.org and keep an eye out for alerts via digital message signs.