By Heidi Glaus
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) -- Chances are you have seen a big orange character in Missouri construction zones. Thanks to Marty McMahan, NewsChannel 5's Heidi Glaus found out more about Barrel Bob in this week's Hey Heidi segment.
He's that rather cool dude with a steady smile that just seems to pop up in construction zones across Missouri.
"He's been in almost every work zone we have," Tom Blair, assistant district engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation says.
But at 11 feet tall, Barrel Bob doesn't go anywhere easily.
"I don't have an exact weight, but he usually takes at least two people to carry him," Blair explains.
He was created by one man in 2008.
"One of the Kansas City workers felt as though motorist were driving unsafely through the work zone," Blair goes on to say.
So he bolted a bunch of barrels together tacked on a couple of cones and Barrel Bob was born.
"When Barrel Bob first showed up in our work zone in 2008 in Kansas City, I think most of us in the business and probably most of the motorists thought okay this is a little fad. Well five years later, Barrel Bob has become much more than a fad he has a following," Blair says.
A rather large following, he has a Facebook page with more than 5,000 fans.
"He's become the most popular spokesperson for work zones in the entire United States," Blair points out.
A spokesbarrel who needs no words to get his message across.
"He's not human, but Barrel Bob humanizes those highway workers," Blair says.
He might seem sort of silly, but his message is serious.
"We've all heard of about some very tragic fatalities of workers in work zones, but what's more prevalent is actually motorist getting injured or killed in our work zones," Blair explains
So when you seem him slow down and get through the work zone safely for the workers and yourself.