Ask the Road Crew

If you wonder why traffic slows down at certain spots, or why construction seems perpetual in another, ask our experts from MoDOT, St. Louis and St. Louis County during the weekly Road Crew chat on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 1 p.m.

  • PSB question - on WB I-64, lane 3 is designated to get onto I-44 & I-55 SB. Due to construction, the lane is (sort of) closed where it splits off (with cones and a flashing arrow), yet there seems to be little or no advance notice of the lane closure, that traffic must shift into lane 4. Can this be improved?
  • There is limited space on the bridge to provide more advance warning of this closure. Any additional information further back into Illinois might get confusing with the existing Illinois workz one before you get to the PSB. Two of the overhead signs on westbound I-64 before the closure have the correct lane arrow covered and there is a safe distance to see the upcoming channelizers and flashing arrow panel for the closure. When the bridge is congested, we encourage drivers to use the full open lane and merge like a zipper at the closure. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • General comment (more for Illinois than Missouri) - using "PSB" to identify a bridge on construction signs and overhead message boards works OK for local traffic, but means little or nothing to interstate travelers- why not identify it as the "I-64 bridge" or something similar?
  • Although Illinois isn't on this chat, the PSB is a fairly common reference for the I-55/I-64 bridge over the Mississippi between St. Louis and Illinois. Most maps have it referenced as the PSB. Of course, that name is really the common name for the bridge -- officially is it the "Congressman William L. Clay Sr. Bridge." That doesn't fit very well on a construction sign or an overhead sign, either. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Can MoDot send a crew out to trim all the random weeds and brush sprouting up along the median on 44 between Shrewsbury and Downtown? We had guests in town over the weekend and they mentioned how it looked like a tree sprouting up in one spot... very unsightly. Plus there is a significant amount of trash and debris laying around as well. Thank you. AJ
  • I have passed your concern along to our maintenance team. You may call in items like this around the clock to our customer service team at 275-1500 or 1-888-ASK-MODOT. Thanks! Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Reasonrules -- for your first signal question about Kingshighway at Gravois -- we are currently working on updating several of the signals along Gravois -- this one included. As we go through the process of installing and updating the signals and the timing, there will be some hiccups. We have passed your observations on to the contractor who is working on the project. They should be making updates to the signal timing soon. By the way, you say mid-afternoon -- can you provide a more specific time to help them update the signals? Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Good afternoon, and thanks for hosting these chats. On Sunday afternoon around 3:00, I was stuck in a jam on the westbound lanes of the Poplar Street Bridge. I was trying to exit onto southbound I-55 and then to westbound I-44. I was in the correct lane per the signage. However, when I got closer to the exit ramp, the lane was closed and as a result everyone trying to exit had to share the same lane for those exiting onto northbound I-44/70. I did not notice any signs about the ramp closure, and had there been any, people could have adjusted and moved over into the only exit lane and traffic would have flowed better. I cannot imagine how bad it is during rush hour. Can better warning signs be placed? Also, what is the estimated time frame for completion of construction on I-44?
  • There is limited space on the bridge to provide more advance warning of this closure. Any additional information further back into Illinois might get confusing with the existing Illinois work zone before you get to the PSB. There are several signs on the bridge indicating the closure. During times of heavy congestion, like you mention, we encourage drivers to stay in the open lane and merge like a zipper at the closure. Traffic moves more efficiently than if everyone lines up in one lane and you have a long backup. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • I'll have to run this information through our Site Plan Review Group, and will post information on the issues you've raised as soon as I hear back from them. (Site Plan Review approves work performed on our Right of Way.) David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • For several months, the right lane of northbound Big Bend is blocked off starting around Wydown. Recently that lane opened back up in the last block approaching Forest Park Parkway. However, various work trucks doing projects at Wash U (some commercial, some not) consistently park in that right lane of Big Bend in the block leading to FP Parkway, hence continuing to block it. This creates a DAILY traffic issue on Big Bend in the morning and the evening, as Big Bend is a major north/south thoroughfare. Is it legal for Wash U or its contractors to consistently block a lane of a major road for months on end? And why is the right lane from Wydown to Forsyth still blocked off if the work at Wash U from Forsyth to FP Parkway doesn't require use of that right lane?
  • MO Hwy B in Franklin County is getting pothole heaven again. I understand that MoDOT will not resurface it anymore because it's in a flood plain, but just putting grit down just isn't cutting it.
  • You are correct in that we currently have no plans to resurface the roadway, but we will pass your concerns along to our maintenance team to see if there is anything further they can do. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Last week, a Road Crew reader asked: "Have the lights on Hanley Rd at Clayton been changed? Morning rush hour used to fly through there but now traffic is backing up almost to Hanley and 40. Thanks!" Here's our reply, as submitted by our Signals team: We conducted an inspection of the traffic signal at the intersection of Hanley Road and Clayton Road. The results of our inspection revealed that this traffic signal is functioning properly and as programmed.

    However, our observations revealed northbound traffic was backed up through the intersection for a signification portion of the AM peak period. Further observations revealed that the backup was originating from the signalized intersection of Hanley Road and Polo Drive-Wydown Boulevard, north of the signalized intersection of Hanley Road and Clayton Road.

    This backup is due to the fact that the vehicle detection loops on Polo Drive at Hanley Road have been damaged and are not functioning properly. The City of Clayton’s Contractor recently damaged these vehicle detection loops during the repaving of Polo Drive. Since the vehicle detection loops were damaged and not operating, we had to put the Polo Drive signal phase on recall to provide a minimum GREEN time each signal cycle. Providing this minimum GREEN time means the Polo Drive signal phase will come up every cycle regardless of the traffic demand on this approach. Typically the Polo Drive signal phase is not actuated every cycle in the AM peak period and the time allotted to this signal phase is typically re-allocated back to Hanley Road. Therefore, until these vehicle detection loops are replaced, motorists on Hanley road will experience delays since their typical GREEN time has been reduced.

    We are working with the city of Clayton to get this vehicle detection loop replaced as soon as possible. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Will there be a webcam on the new Washington bridge project?
  • Yes, we do plan to have a construction camera for the Route 47 bridge. At this time, we don't have a specific time when it will be put out there. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • The traffic lights at Seventh and Olive have been flashing for several weeks. Flashing red lights are a hazard to pedestrians. St. Louis drivers are famous for their rolling stops and if the pedestrian arrives at the intersection on the NE corner, he has no way of knowing the lights are on flash, just that the pedestrian signals don't work. Please turn them back on.
  • Our signal crew is checking this out - thanks!
  • I have 2 issues to address regarding signals:
    1) The situation with a 10-second green for Kingshighway at Gravois persists - and is completely unreasonable. I wound up making a sudden left onto Bonita/Alma to reach G when it was obvious (based on the number of vehicles staged on K) I wouldn't clear the light for AT LEAST 2 sequences - on a Monday mid-afternoon, no less. What - if any - excuse/attempt at rationalization can explain this decision for clogging a high-volume arterial like K?
    2) Morganford at Robert is also a mess. Tuesday mid-afternoon, I was sitting N-bound at the M and Carondelet light and could see M had a red, which went green for it - and back to green for R - before we could even reach it. Once we were released, it was back to green for R before we could reach Loughborough - maybe 15 seconds of green for M. I thought this intersection had ground detection for R - am I imagining that? It also appears that R is getting a full minute every time it goes green, which I'm guessing is due to the "pedestrian crossing time" rule that should be on-demand when a crossing button is pushed - not routine.
  • The intersection of Gravois and Kingshighway is MoDOT-controlled. As for the intersection of Morganford and Robert, there is vehicle and pedestrian detection installed wherein the signal should only cycle to the side street when activity is present. We will investigate to see if either is malfunctioning.
  • Please see the response below on Gravois at Kingshighway. Thanks! Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • What project is about to being at I-44 and 141 in Fenton? Barriers have been put up along the WB lanes.
  • That work is part of our Route 141 Design Build project. You can see details here: The barriers on I-44 are so crews can work on some portions of the north outer road improvement and the flyover ramp. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Thanks for hosting these chats. Are there still guardrails to be installed along EB I-64 East of Mason between the interstate and the South Outer road? Also, will the fencing along this stretch be replaced since it helped keep wildlife off of the highway?
  • Yes, we still have guard rail that needs to be installed along eastbound I-64. We expect that to be done in about two weeks, weather permitting. Fencing should be reinstalled. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • This question is for the City. At 6:30 this morning, I wanted to make a right turn onto east bound Market from north bound 18th. However, cars were queuing from 18th onto Market and then onto 16th to get into the Post Office garage. I would have had to wait through multiple cycles to make this turn. Instead, I got in the outermost lane and went across Market to Chestnut and then 15th to get back onto Market. Would it have been permissible to turn right from the outermost lane onto Market? Second, can something be done to speed up the process for the PO employees. It does not seem fair that one company should inconvenience everyone else.
  • It would not have been advisable to make a northbound right turn from the westernmost through lane as the easternmost lane is also a through lane across the intersection - though I can see why you would want to with the east lane queued waiting to turn. I'm aware of the influx at that time, but is the queuing usually as bad as today's?
  • A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the traffic going south bound on Hampton at 64 gets backed up at Oakland and those of us exiting 64 to go south can't move on the arrow - this is around 4:30 to 5 is when I go through this area - any help here?? Thanks
  • We are working with MoDOT to come up with a plan to address your concerns as they control the I-64 signal and we control Oakland.
  • There's a big pothole on Spruce at Edwin. Thanks!
  • Our street crews will investigate - thanks!
  • I have tremendous concerns about the short entrance ramp going from north-bound Riverview onto east-bound 270, onto the ChainOf Rocks Bridge - it is a very short ramp and leads to only two lanes where vehicles are traveling at 55 to 75 mph onto a bridge over the Mississippi River - is there any way to make that a safer set-up?
  • At this time, we have no funding or current plans to make any changes at the ramp from northbound Riverview to eastbound I-270. However, we are currently working on a study of the northern portion of the I-270 corridor (from McDonnell to the river) and Illinois is working on a study that may replace some or all of the Mississippi River Bridge there. Although it will be some years before IDOT finds funding and starts construction for a new bridge, that project may include some improvements at the Riverview entrance. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Can you have a look at detection on Olive at Diehlman? On Sunday, EB Olive was getting an arrow for no traffic in the queue.
  • I've passed it along to our signal team. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Last night the streetlights on 7000 block of Plainview and 4500 block of Wabash were completely out. There was a truck investigating so I'm guessing you're aware, but I was wondering if the issue was repaired or if they'll be dark again tonight.
  • Street lights should be back to normal operation tonight!
  • On 364, at the Missouri River Bridge, there are lights across the pavement in each direction going both ways - what were they installed for??
  • These lights were installed as lane use control signals to identify when a lane was blocked due to a crash or a stall. Technology has advance and in lieu of operating these signals that are difficult to maintain, we have instead used our large shoulder mounted dynamic message signs that allow us to communicate with motorists. The dynamic message signs allow us to tell the motorists what is closed, where it is closed and what action should be taken. In the future instead of posting messages on dynamic message signs, you may receive the same message on your cars dashboard. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communciations
  • Who controls the Arsenal/Ivanhoe intersection? Is it on cycle? Ivanhoe gets a green even though there is no traffic. Same question for McCausland and Southwest (though I know it's a city light)...green arrows for NB and SB with no traffic. Cycle or detection?
  • The City owns and operates Arsenal & Ivanhoe. Both intersections have vehicle detection installed and we will investigate if it is malfunctioning.
  • Has MoDOT figured out the cause and a solution to the drainage issues on North Highway Drive and the on ramp from Bowles to WB I-44?
  • I've asked my maintenance team if they have any insight. I haven't heard back from them yet, so I will share any response I get during next week's chat. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Great, thanks about the streetlights. One more question, going EB on Arsenal to Jamieson, can both lanes turn right? It seems the pavement is marked as such and there are tiger tracks as well, but I almost got hit turning right from the left lane by a right lane turner going wide. If my move was legal, can some new paint/signage be put in to help avoid this? Thanks!
  • That turn maneuver is allowed as the northernmost lane is a shared through/right lane while the southernmost lane is right turn only. Additional tiger tracks and possibly signage could be added to further clarify this to motorists.
  • From last week; Still wondering how Morganford/Morgan Ford got signed both ways. If the answer is that there is no known reason, that's certainly acceptable and understandable. Thanks for considering this and for hosting these chats.
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