MoDOT prepares for game day traffic

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COLUMBIA – MoDOT will have extra staff members working Saturday due to MU’s first home football game of the season.

MoDOT said the extra workers will be around the stadium area on Columbia roads and highways to handle emergency maintenance issues or to help the Highway Patrol control traffic.

MoDOT has been monitoring traffic signals in Columbia for many weeks to make sure they are working properly so the extra traffic does not get too backed up.

Sally Oxenhandler, MoDOT’s Central District communications manager, said game days are always big for Columbia.

“Of course, people will be traveling from all over the state to get there,” she said. “We try and get ready knowing that we’re going to have a lot of visitors to the Columbia area and a lot more travelers on Missouri interstates and major roads.”

Oxenhandler said the best thing for travelers to do is to allow plenty of time for traveling.

“That always helps kind of reduce the tension and stress,” she said.

She also suggested that travelers look at MoDOT’s traveler information map that shows road conditions and real-time traffic flow. Oxenhandler said drivers who have concerns while traveling can call the department’s toll-free phone line, which is staffed 24/7.

MoDOT always encourages people not to drink or text while driving and to wear their seat belts, but the department is stressing it even more with all the football fans in town.

In addition to safety preparation, Oxenhandler said MoDOT has been working to “spruce up the area” with mowing, repainting curbs and sidewalks and clearing debris from highways and intersections.

Oxenhandler hopes all travelers take the necessary precautions so they can enjoy the game.