Ask the Road Crew

Ask the Road Crew

From pothole problems to lagging light signals, the Road Crew can help. Join the weekly chat with our experts from MoDOT, St. Louis and St. Louis County on Wednesday, Feb, 22 at 1 p.m. for answers to all your commuting questions.

    The OxBlue camera for the PSB Ramps has been in the same location since it began operations. The work visible to the camera has been completed. Now that the new ramp from northbound I-55 to the PSB is underway and widening of the bridge is also to be done, will the PSB camera be positioned so that this work can be observed? Otherwise, the camera, in its current location is pointless. Thanks.
    We are working on finding a location for the camera at the Poplar Street Bridge so those interested can view the work on the eastbound lanes. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    From last week -- One of our watchers asked about signal timing on Route 94 between Route 364 and I-70, specifically around the Zumbehl/Friedens area. We are working on reviewing all the signal timing in that area -- it will take some time to collect all the data and implement changes. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Also last week, to the customer concerned about Manchester and Woodlawn, near Schnucks. Our traffic team took a look at that intersection during the evening rush and determined there was a small surge of traffic that backed up during one signal cycle. They added a little extra time to Woodlawn. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    As I was driving on EB I-70 this morning, I noticed something was missing. What was missing were the signs on each bridge and overpass telling the street name associated with the bridge. There was a massive effort a few years ago (that lasted for a few years) to replace all of the bridges and overpasses on I-70 because of their age. New, more modern interchanges were constructed as well as roadway resurfacing. The results are great, but what happened to the signs?
    Typically, we no longer put signs on bridges that cross the interstate, but have no access to the interstate. Those that do connect to the interstate are identified on the ramp sign. We leave the old signs in place until they reach the end of their service life, but we don't replace them. You may see some signs on corridors where enhancements are included (such as along I-64). Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Mr. Gates,

    Last week I alerted you to signal coordination issues with the signals at I-55 and Reavis Barracks. You asked what time I observed the problem. I see the problem seven days a week and at all times of the day, excepting late at night or very early in the morning.
    Thanks for the additional information -- I have passed it along to our traffic team to discuss with the county to see what improvements we may be able to make to keep traffic from backing up on the interstate while providing appropriate flow on Reavis Barracks. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Mr. Gates, Speaking of I-55 and Reavis Barracks, there is a commuter lot located on the west side of the interstate. The "Parking" sign for westbound Reavis Barracks fell down and it looks as though someone has removed it. Please ask MoDOT to install a new sign. There is one in place for eastbound traffic. Typically MoDOT installs a parking sign for both directions of traffic. Thank you.
    I have asked our signing team to take a look at the area and replace any missing signs. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    The walk signals are not cycling at Ninth and Olive by the Culineria. The pedestrian signal displays the DON'T WALK hand at all times, regardless of which direction has the green light for autos.
    We will check this out - thanks!
    The traffic lights are flashing red in all directions at Ninth and Washington!?!
    We will check into this. FYI: At times of equipment failures (poles knocked down, traffic cabinet internal hardware malfunctioning, etc) OR when there are significant enough construction activities at the intersection affecting traffic movements, a traffic signal operates in red flash for all directions. This is a fail-safe condition which forces all movements passing through the intersection to come to a full stop before progressing through the intersection when it's their turn. Once construction activities are complete or when the equipment is repaired, the signal is put back into normal operation.
    Hello, Joe. Sorry, but I missed your post from last week. What specifically is your concern with the "Right Lane Need Not Stop" sign? I have forwarded your signals-related question to our signals group for investigation. Thank you. David Wrone, St. Louis County
    Hi, I asked last week about the sign at the Lackland exit from EB Page, stating that "Right Lane need not stop" but did not get a response. Any update on that?
    Also, same intersection, can the stop lights be checked during the morning rush? It seems every day now, all three heavily traveled directions have red lights while traffic exiting from Concourse Drive gets a very extended Green for no reason. Thanks!
    I have a lane change suggestion. I am frequently sitting in the traffic headed southwest at N. St. Peters Parkway and Central School Road. There are 4 lanes. One lane comes off of 94 and those people frequently need to get two over to turn right/north onto Central School Road (otherwise they would be forced to turn left/south). Labeling the lanes left to right as 1-4, 1 is currently Left Only, 2-3 are Straight, 4 is Right Turn only. I would like to suggest a couple options to adjusting this intersection. Leave 1 Left, 2 Straight, make 3 a straight/right turn lane, and 4 right turn only. OR, maybe 1 a Left/Straight lane, 2 a straight only, and 3 and 4 right turn only. If you watch this intersection during rush hour times, and around school times, you'll see why these suggestions might work. The people coming off of 94 and trying to get all the way over into the right hand turn lane, which can be backed up, is a dangerous game of cat and mouse to those of us who want to go straight through the stop light. Just an idea I've had as I've sat at the stop light, or almost been hit. I have also seen people turn right from Lane 3 onto Central School Road due to the backup in Lane 4.
    Thanks for the information -- I have passed it along to our traffic team to evaluate. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    A few weeks back, I had asked about the trees being removed along I-44 in Webster Groves. Since then, other news sources has identified that as work being done by Ameren, to protect their power lines.
    Yes, I passed that along the following week. Often, if we are unable to get an answer within the time of the chat, we'll follow up on the comment within a week or so. Thanks for following up! Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    I've forwarded this issue to our signals group for investigation and appropriate action. Thanks for sharing your concerns. David Wrone, St. Louis County
    Westbound Big Bend, at Sappington, between 5:00 and 5:30 pm weekdays, appears to be giving too much time to vehicles turning left (WB BB > SB Sapp), which means vehicles headed east on Big Bend end up sitting through at least two cycles, because of too-limited green time, for that movement (which, I assume, should have more priority).
    The City of Clayton maintains S. Central Avenue. Please contact that municipality's Department of Public Works for information regarding future striping plans for this street. David Wrone, St. Louis County
    Not sure whether this is a St. Louis County or Clayton city issue.... Having said that and understanding that it is still officially winter, when do you anticipate being able to restore the street markings on Central Ave in Clayton where the new County Courts building is located. Turning onto Central causes confusion as to where the lanes are and how they flow. Thank you.
    Buran, St. Louis County maintains the signal at Throop and Forest Park Parkway. (Washington University maintains Throop.) Our signals team is aware of the problems you've outlined, and I'll post a detailed answer to your post ASAP (most likely, next week). David Wrone, St. Louis County
    The Throop Drive light on Forest Park Parkway is slightly too short by 5-10 seconds. Between about 5-6:15 pm, Throop backs up horribly because all other exits from the Washington University campus are closed. Snow Way is not an exit onto Big Bend anymore and Throop is closed to the east due to a building renovation that is to last until mid-2018. This causes all exiting traffic to funnel into a single exit, which backs up into multiple parking garages and drivers force their way out of the parking garages else they'd never get out. Please extend the light a little but just during this peak time to prevent this.

    The off-ramp from I-170 North onto Forest Park Parkway is full of trash (the adoption-program partner for this area isn't doing its work; I've filed a complaint about this area before and seen MoDOT doing its work for them the very next day). I hate to say it, but I think MoDOT needs to do the work for them again and find someone new who will do the upkeep properly.

    Thank you for continuing these chats even though the I-64 reconstruction is long done!
    I have passed the information on about the trash on 170 at Forest Park Parkway on to our maintenance team to take a look at. Dave answered your Throop question below. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Hello, again, Joe. Here's the report from our Traffic Studies team: The sign isn't missing; our forces removed it in early 2014 because the sign didn't meet federal standards. We observed traffic afterwards, and drivers were still flowing into the lane as before. Since a sign doesn't exist for this exact situation, we painted straight arrows on the pavement to alert motorists that they can flow onto Lackland Road from the Page Avenue off ramp. These arrows have faded, and will be re-painted in the very near future. David Wrone, St. Louis County
    Sorry Mr. Wrone, thought maybe it was a follow up or something.
    I had asked last week about the sign at the Lackland exit from EB Page, stating that "Right Lane need not stop," because I had asked a while ago about it and never saw an update or change. The exiting traffic from Page to Lackland (towards West Port Plaza) has a right turn onto Lackland with a dedicated lane going forward, joining one through-lane on Lackland. There used to be signs there stating that right lane need not stop, but they were either removed or missing. I was wondering why, if they were removed, or if they could be replaced. Traffic needlessly backs up here in the mornings because people will stop/yield for traffic unnecessarily. Thanks for the review, and for doing these chats!
    While I know the short/short-term answer is "no money", given the population growth in Jefferson County, is there any long-term planning in the works to add another bridge over the Meramec River, somewhere between Eureka and I-270? There's only so much traffic that 141 can carry!
    There are no plans. There are no other major north-south routes between 109 and 141 -- besides those two roads, everything else is residential. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    A "Road Crew" reader recently reported a possible signals malfunction at Hanna and Big Bend. Our signals group inspected the intersection, and found that a malfunctioning detector card was causing Hanna Road to cycle, regardless of the traffic volume present at any particular time. The detector card has been replaced, and the signal is now operating properly. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. David Wrone, St. Louis County
    I'll check on this and give you an answer as soon as possible. However, that might be in next week's "Road Crew." David Wrone, St. Louis County
    For Mr. Wrone. I realize St. Louis County has hundreds of miles of roads that need to be repaved, but I wonder if your Dept has checked out Ballas Road from Manchester to Dougherty Ferry Road lately. On your scale of 1-10 I would rate this stretch a 2 or 3. The pavement is in very bad shape with bumps, rough spots and dozens of patches where utility repairs or installations have occurred over the past few years. And one section in front of the side entrance to West County Mall that has a chronic water main leak seeping through raised payment that is a real bone crusher. I wonder if some day the pavement there will collapse from erosion. I know this is partly a MO American Water problem but it is still a nuisance. In contrast, Ballas from Manchester to Clayton was repaved entirely by MODOT several years ago and is in great shape. With that said, your crews do a really good job with striping and fixing potholes in this stretch of Ballas, but the roadway has passed its useful life.
    Can a YIELD sign be put up at the Southbound ramp from Lindbergh Blvd to Page Ave.
    When traveling west on Page, and trying to get over to turn right onto Millpark, a person on Page has to MERGE into the traffic from the Lindbergh ramp, and at times that is almost impossible. I have seen cars on PAGE come to a complete stop in what is then the center lane, trying to get over because the traffic from that ramp does not yield to them.
    Please put up a YIELD sign so the people on that ramp know that they need to let the Page traffic get into that lane to make the turn there...
    A yield sign would not be appropriate. Traffic coming from Lindbergh has its own lane, since Route D goes from two lanes to three there. This would be just like any merging lane change from a center to an outside lane. This is where politeness and appropriate merging technique is important -- putting on your signal and merging into breaks in the traffic . Those people in the lane from Lindbergh also should be paying attention to the potential traffic coming in from the left and give them breaks in the traffic to merge over to the Millpark exit. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Posted earlier don't see it... WB 364 backs up every afternoon near Central School. Caused by the short merge before Mid Rivers/Pitman exit and worse - the SB 94 exit. There is concrete already in place to get rid of the merges and just continue the whole lane as an exit lane, instead of the merges which back traffic up and cause accidents. Why are these not made exit lanes and the merges eliminated?
    We do see your questions -- however, we want to try to get as many answered as possible, so we were doing some research to see if we could get an answer to your "why" portion of the question. As we were working on the second phase of Page (between Harvester and Mid Rivers Mall) we had to go from four lanes to two -- our design requirements meant wee needed to have a certain amount of tapering to meet standards. When we started the final phase, our priority for the project was completing the through lanes and the major interchanges. We simply did not have enough available funding to address that issue during the Phase 3 construction. We are looking at making some changes at those ramps in the next few years. It's not as simple as just restriping the roadway. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
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