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Morning headlines: Friday, June 24, 2011

MoDot will slightly lengthen the yellow light timing at any signals, hoping that adding a few fractions of a second may reduce accidents.

MoDOT to Lengthen Time at Yellow Lights

Drivers who hurry through yellow lights will soon have a little more time to do so at roughly 2,000 traffic signals on Missouri-controlled roads and highways.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Missouri Department of Transportation will slightly lengthen the yellow light timing at many signals, hoping that adding a few fractions of a second may reduce accidents. The timing increase should take place by the end of the year.

The move comes after a national study encouraging traffic engineers to give more weight to vehicle stopping distances at traffic signals. The work actually began earlier this year in the St. Louis area, with the yellow light time increase ranging from tenths of a second to 1.6 seconds at an intersection on Highway 141 in Arnold.

Army Corps Rush to Build Berm at Birds Point Levee

As the flood fight continues along the Missouri River in northwest Missouri, the opposite corner of the state is battling the rising Mississippi once again.

The Southeast Missourian reports that the Army Corps of Engineers is moving quickly to construct a berm at a section of the Birds Point levee - the levee the corps blew up in May to relieve flooding pressure at nearby Cairo, Ill.

The latest effort at Birds Point is aimed at ensuring that the floodway doesn't take on water during a rise in the Mississippi forecast for this weekend, the result of recent rains. The river level in southeast Missouri is expected to fall next week. Corps officials say the Birds Point levee should be repaired by March 1.

Another Levee Fails in Northwest Mo.

Another Missouri River levee has failed in northwest Missouri, prompting evacuations in a mostly rural area of the state.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning Thursday night after a levee about three miles north of Brownville, Neb. failed. The extent of the damage to the levee wasn't immediately clear. Atchison County officials ordered anyone living in the area between Interstate 29 and the river in the county to evacuate. The area near the latest failed levee is mostly rural, but the weather service said the flooding could affect Phelps City, Watson and Langdon, Mo. At least two other levees in northwest Missouri failed thismonth, and others have been overrun by floodwater.



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