MoDOT Workers' Hours Change as Heat Rises

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BOONE COUNTY - Thursday's dangerously hot temperatures forced a Missouri Department of Transportation crew to leave work early. 

The crew was filling pot holes along Route UU near the Interstate 70 Midway exit. MoDOT workers stayed on site until 1 p.m.

Travis Koestner is the assistant district engineer for MoDOT central district. He said when temperatures get to be this hot, MoDOT adjusts workers' schedules. "We haven't sent anybody home. Everybody gets their 40 hours during the week," he said. "A lot of our crew this time of year will start at 5-o'clock," he said.

Koestner said in the Columbia area, MoDOT does a lot of work at night during the summer months because it's cooler and there's less traffic interference.

If it gets to be above 100 degrees outside, the pavement temperatures can reach 120 or more. If workers are laying asphalt, it arrives to the site between 200 and 300 degrees, Koestner said.

"We make sure workers have plenty of cold fluids," he said.

MoDOT doesn't only provide water. The department makes sure workers have sunscreen, Gatorade, protective head gear and even heat safety classes every morning. Koestner said workers learn the signs of heat stress and how to work in extreme heat for safety.

Heat can add stress to pavement, causing it to ripple, Koestner said.

If a driver sees any pavement distress, make sure to call 888-ASKMODOT.