ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - A former employee of the Missouri Department of Transportation is suing the agency, claiming age discrimination.
A lawsuit filed in Buchanan County says 64-year-old Elaine Justus worked at MoDOT's northwest district from 1997 until early 2013, largely in community relations.
The complaint says MoDOT developed a cost-cutting plan that included lists identifying employees by age and tenure. The lawsuit also says a northwest district manager created a similar list sorted by retirement eligibility and called it the "Buzzard List."
The St. Joseph News-Press reports the lawsuit says in 2011, a manager asked Justus her age. Justus says she was told a month later she wouldn't be reappointed. She says she was later demoted and was terminated in January.
MoDOT spokesman Bob Brendel says the department doesn't comment on pending litigation.
Traffic pain is on the way for some West County residents next month.
MoDOT will be closing one lane on Route 109 nightly starting the week of July 15. Crews will start the closures at 9 PM each night while the resurface the road between 44 and Route 100.
The work is scheduled to run into the fall and MoDOT encourages drivers to start looking for alternate routes now to be prepared for the closures.
Workers are back at it on the Blanchette Bridge today for the first time since a contractor died earlier this week.
51-year-old Patrick Bray was killed after a large drum fell on him on Monday. The accident delayed work on 70 at the Fifth Street exit.
MoDOT says that work will start Monday night and run through July 8. Crews will close one lane of westbound 70 while the resurface the Fifth Street Bridge.
Drivers are advised to use alternate routes while the additional closures are in effect.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A nearly 2-mile stretch of Interstate 70 in Kansas City is closed after a tanker truck crashed and exploded into flames, injuring the driver.
The single-vehicle accident occurred early Friday when the tanker hit a median and caught fire. The Missouri Department of Transportation says the truck was hauling a flammable solvent, some of which spilled after the crash.
Jesse Skinner, district maintenance engineer for the transportation department, says the driver was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported.
He says crews from the fire department, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency were at the scene to ensure the solvent was contained. He says there's no threat to public safety.
The highway department says the highway could be closed until late Friday.
A quick traffic note. MoDOT is closing 170 between 70 and 270 until 3PM on Monday.
They are giving Ameren crews time to restring power lines over the interstate. Drivers are encouraged to use 70 or 270 as a detour.
MoDOT is warning of slow traffic tomorrow morning on Interstate 70 near Mid Rivers Mall Drive.
Police officers will slow down traffic in both directions at 9 AM and 11 AM Wednesday. The slowdowns will last up to ten minutes and take place between Route 79 and Route 370. This is part of work to create a new interchange on the highway and add a new lane of traffic.
Information on how to avoid the work zone can be found at modot.org.
Construction is set to begin this morning on Stage 3 of the Page Extension, and MoDOT local leaders are gathering in St. Charles County later Wednesday morning to mark the occasion. KTRS's Michael Golde has a preview...
"Ground is being broken today where the final 9 miles of route 364 ends at I-64. It's all part of a nearly $120 million dollar project that will include a 4-lane divided highway from Mid Rivers Mall to I-64 in St. Charles.
St. Charles and MoDOT are roughly splitting the price tag. Phase 3 is designed to relieve congestion in the central portion of St. Charles and to provide another route into st. Louis.
The Page extension is expected to be completed by November 2014."
MoDOT's entire phone system is down today.
Officials say crews are working to repair the technical failure, but there is no estimate for when service will be restored. This outage affect all MoDOT offices in the state.
Motorists with emergencies should call 911.
Cyclists and drivers in St. Louis are being asked to do their part to make our roads safer.
Monday morning local leaders kicked off the "Safe Roads for All" initiative. It's a call for drivers and cyclists to follow the rules of the road.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says St. Louis ranks 2nd in the state when it comes to cycling-related deaths.
It was a year ago when Susan Scott's son Sam was killed while riding his bicycle. "He was killed by a drunk driver february 2012 coming home from work...it was his main mode of transport."
Sam is among many millenials, young people 25-35 years old, who choose to use their bicycle as their main mode of transportation. The safe roads initiative is a cooperative effort by the people at Trailnet, MODOT, METRO and city police.
Ann Mack, CEO of Trailnet; Ed Hassinger, MoDOT's District Engineer for St. Louis region; John Nations, President & CEO of Bi-State Development Agency – the parent company of Metro Transit; Chief Sam Dotson, Metropolitan Police Department, City of St. Louis and mother Susan Scott, whose son was hit and killed by a drunk driver last year while commuting on his bicycle all stressed the need for cyclists and pedestrians need to understand that they have primary responsibility for their own safety. They said the motoring public also has a responsibility to share the road in a safe and courteous manner with these vulnerable road users.
Trailnet and MoDOT then lead a group of cyclists on a safety ride downtown. Metro Transit workers lead a group of pedestrians over to the Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station to take the train downtown.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Amid the risk of losing millions of dollars in federal transportation funding, Missouri lawmakers are considering changes to rules for commercial driver's licenses.
State House members this week gave initial approval to legislation that seeks to comply with federal regulations dealing with learning permits for commercial driver's licenses and with restrictions on texting and using hand-held cellphones while driving a commercial vehicle.
The Missouri Transportation Department says the state could lose $30 million for one year and $60 million annually after that if it doesn't act quickly enough.
The legislation needs another round of approval in the House before it can move to the Senate. Lawmakers have until their mandatory adjournment on May 17 to approve new legislation.