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MoDOT mascot promotes safety during construction season

Missouri Department of Transportation workers, from left, Rich Murray, Pancho Bejarano, Bob Houchins and Pat Wulff work to pave an area where Lookout Drive crosses U.S. 50 West in Cole County.

Missouri Department of Transportation workers, from left, Rich Murray, Pancho Bejarano, Bob Houchins and Pat Wulff work to pave an area where Lookout Drive crosses U.S. 50 West in Cole County. Photo by Gerry Tritz.

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is hoping that a 11-foot mascot made of barrels will encourage motorist safety in work zones.

MoDOT’s new mascot is Barrel Bob, originally created by an employee of a Kansas City contractor that works for MoDOT.

There are actually two Barrel Bobs, each serving along different roadways in the state. The one currently being used in Cole County is smiling, with sunglasses and a yellow construction hat. The other appears more menacing, sporting protective glasses and jagged shark-like teeth.

Both are holding “slow” signs and both were built from orange and white construction barrels, costing a total of $42.

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“Barrel Bob is our work-zone watchdog,” said Mike Belt, a maintenance supervisor with MoDOT. “We hope it gets people’s attention and gets them to slow down in the work zones.”

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