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MoDOT Receives Two State Recycling Awards

MoDOT made the announcement this week. One of the awards pertains to the Route 141 expansion project in West St. Louis County.

The Missouri Department of Transportation in St. Louis announced it recently received two awards for recycling.

One of the awards is for the Route 141 expansion project that runs through Town and Country, Chesterfield, Creve Coeur and Maryland Heights.

More details on how the department recycled during that road project are included in the following news release provided by MoDOT.

The Missouri Department of Transportation in St. Louis has won two Missouri State Recycling Program awards.

The department’s Route 141 project in Chesterfield won the team award for its “No Tree Wasted” plan. Frank Tidd, a maintenance superintendent in DeSoto, won the individual award for his idea of using cinders to fill edge ruts on rural roadways. 

The primary goal of the “No Tree Wasted” plan was to save or recycle trees impacted by construction of the Route 141 relocation project. The relocation project moved about two miles of Route 141 to the east between Ladue and Olive Boulevard in Chesterfield and raised the roadway out of the floodplain. 

Normally in a project such as this, MoDOT would remove all trees between the right of way lines. In this project, the department required the contractor to limit tree clearing to only that needed for construction. This saved more than 100 mature trees. 

In addition, those trees which needed to be removed were sent to a sawmill for recycling. Wood from those trees became hardwood floors, furniture, shutters and boat paddles. 

More importantly, the sawdust and remaining limbs were also recycled. The sawdust was used to fuel the saw mill’s drying kiln. The remaining limbs and smaller trees were mulched on site and used to control erosion around the streams and property on the project. This natural erosion control could then be spread out at the end of the project, allowing it to decompose. 

The department recycled nearly 300,000 board feet of lumber, 300 tons of wood chips, 330 tons of mulch and 250 tons of sawdust. This process is now being adopted by other state transportation projects. 

Tidd’s suggestion replaced the rock used to fill edge ruts on roadways with cinders. Filling these ruts on the edge of roadways is an on-going part of roadway maintenance. 

During winter operations, the department gets cinders from coal burning power plants to treat rural roadways. Large cinders are sifted out of this material before treating the road. These cinders can be used to fill in the edge ruts on the roadway, instead of more costly rock. 

The larger cinders stay in place longer and resist washing out of the ruts. They are more environmentally friendly, since the maintenance workers no longer need to use oil as a part of making edge rut repairs. 

This process saves MoDOT several thousand dollars per month for roadway repair.

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