Ask the Road Crew

Some construction projects are causing traffic troubles for some commuters. Get all the updates and answers to your questions from the Road Crew in its weekly chat on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 1 p.m.

  • Some old business to start -- a few weeks ago, DividebyZero asked about an exit only sign on westbound I-70 to Adelaide. Our traffic engineers reviewed the exit and has determined that, based on how traffic shifts at the exit, it would be helpful to have an exit only sign there. We are ordering the sign and will install it when it gets in. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • We also had some questions about the left turn arrow from Chouteau to Compton. We made some tweaks to the morning signal program, so drivers should see that now. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Finally, last week there were a couple of questions about the Manchester Great Streets project. The questions were about a sidewalk in front of St. John's Church and the U-turn that was removed at Manchester and Old State. MoDOT has completed all the scheduled work on the Manchester Great Streets project. There are no plans to do a sidewalk in front of St. John’s church – constructing a sidewalk there required an easement from the church, but the church board voted against dedicating the easement, so we took the sidewalk off our plans. We did briefly have a u-turn on westbound Manchester at Old State Road, but removed it due to safety – there are two right turn lanes from Old State Road, so it would be unsafe to have traffic turning right, and traffic making the U-turn. It is unlikely that will be put back, unless the safety issue in that location is resolved. However, drivers can make a legal u-turn at the next intersection. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Great Rivers Greenway has looked at this issues you mentioned regarding bicycles and has produce a Regional Bike plan.
  • With it getting warmer and heading into spring, I am seeing more and more bicyclists, and thought this would be a good time to bring up something that I have wondered about for awhile. While I agree that there are roads in the area that are favorable to allow bicycle traffic, has anyone ever sat down and tried to come up with a comparable listing of roadways that are unsafe for bicyclists, and I am not talking 270, 55, roads like those, but more roads that because they are narrow and have enough curves to make it unsafe for people to try to pass bicyclists, causing frustration on the part of the car drivers.
    If this has never been addressed, I think it is something that should be addressed at the same time the bicyclists are pushing for more inclusion on roads, and they should be willing to agree that there are some roads that are just too unsafe for bicycles and cars to share the road.
  • A signal technician will check the detection at Hampton & 1900 Hampton.
  • STL City - The signal at the intersection of 1900 Hampton Ave. and Hampton Ave. is cycling at all hours of the day and night for ghost traffic. This is especially annoying during peak traffic times. Thank you.
  • Getting onto southbound Rt 141 from westbound 64 is terrible since the reconfiguration of the exit. In the afternoon and evening traffic backs up onto 64 whereas prior to the rebuilding there was never a congestion problem. Is this how it's going to be?
  • The work on WB I-64 to SB 141 is complete. We do see a short period of time during evening rush when the traffic backs up the ramp onto the outer road, but it usually clears quickly -- mostly during a cycle or two of the signal onto SB 141. The roadway is much safer now -- before the construction project, we normally saw traffic getting off the ramp and zooming to the left across two lanes of traffic. We will continue to monitor the flow of traffic and make appropriate tweaks to the signals. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • For STL County - Almost daily, I have to sit through two long cycles to get from northbound Rock Hill Road left onto westbound Manchester in Rock Hill. This is in the mid-afternoon, just after lunch time. Could you please add a little extra time for the arrow this direction? Thank you.
  • That's one of MoDOT's signals -- we'll take a look at it to see if we can make any adjustments. As a reminder, you can call in concerns about signals on state roadways anytime around the clock to 314-275-1500. Thanks! Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • At last Thursday's meeting, St. Louis County's Department of Transportation explained to attendees our recently launched Hillsboro Road Safety Improvement Study. In general terms, the study will analyze existing conditions on the road, including accident data, driver behavior, traffic volumes, pavement conditions and topography, and - with feedback from area motorists/residents, determine what, if any, measures can be taken to improve Hillsboro Road's safety. We'll be hosting another public forum this summer. (A date hasn't been set.) If you'd like to share your own views with our study team, please email us at hillsborord@stlouisco.com. Project info can be accessed at www.stlouisco.com/Hillsboro. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • I'm with commuter...Hillsboro Valley Road, for example, is a fairly dangerous road to begin with, especially with bikers riding on it. It's very curvy with no shoulder. Speaking of that road, I know there was a safety meeting on Feb 24, I wasn't able to attend. Do you happen to know what was discussed? Thank you!
  • I'll have our signals group look at the Big Bend/ Laclede Station signals. MoDOT maintains the I-44 exit ramp signal, and will, per my counterpart Mr. Gates, investigate. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • STL County - Last night around 10 PM and took note of two ridiculously long lights. Both of these intersections need to be set to run off the sensors versus the standard program during off-peak traffic times: 1) Big Bend Blvd. and Laclede Station Rd., and 2) eastbound I-44 exit ramp at Laclede Station Rd. and Murdoch. It is very inefficient to make traffic sit for extended lengths of time at both of these locations when traffic is light. Thank you.
  • We are checking the traffic volumes at Clayton & Skinker to see if we do as you are suggesting.
  • STL City / MODOT - Could the lights at Clayton & Skinker be re-timed to shorten the length of the left turn arrow going from westbound Clayton onto southbound Skinker / McCausland? There's usually very little demand for this route, and it seems logical to run the green for both directions of Clayton simultaneously to improve the flow of traffic, particularly for eastbound Clayton during peak traffic times. Thank you.
  • Yes, our contractor will be repaving this section of Union Road this spring or summer. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Thanks for hosting these chats. This question is for St. Louis County. Now that nearly all of the sidewalks have been replaced on Morgan Ford/Union Road from the City limits to Bayless, will Morgan Ford be resurfaced? It could certainly use it from the City limits all the way up until Lindbergh.
  • I am sending your request to our Traffic engineer. We do need to work with MoDOT because our signal needs to communicate with theirs.
  • Thanks again for hosting these chats. Unfortunately, heading north on Jefferson around 8-9am, the signal at Russell Blvd is still completely opposite of he next signal at I-44. This needs to be synced. Nothing has to involve MoDot or the I-44 signals. The only signal that needs the timing fixed is the one at Russell Blvd. This has been a huge problem for 5 weeks now without even a hint of a resolution. Please, please, please sync Russell signal to I-44. Once that is done, I believe traffic will flow exponentially better on Jefferson. Thank you.
  • Your observations about Tucker traffic to our signal group. I assume you are referring to traffic flow in the morning?
  • The traffic flow on Tucker Street, which is overwhelmed with redirected Illinois commuter traffic, causes many of us to divert onto the side streets as soon as possible. Cass Avenue is the first (and apparently favorite) turnoff to avoid the Tucker Avenue congestion.

    Could the traffic lights at 13th and Cass (and at 14th and Cass) be lengthened for green lights for those of us on Cass Avenue? Yesterday, as an example, the north/south 13th street traffic had 3 or 4 vehicles traverse the intersection with a light that was green for about 1 minute. Additionally, they have dedicated turn lights (missing from the east/west Cass Avenue traffic lights) which extended the wait time.

    In the meantime, the westbound Cass Avenue traffic had 30 or 40 cars trying to get through an intersection (seeking other indirect routes throughout the city) and only 8 or 9 cars could make it through on the light. To worsen the situation, there is no dedicated left turn light to match with the left turn lane.
  • The MLK bridge was closed for months for extensive rehab work and signs were posted on I-70 EB/I-44 WB warning of that anticipated work. Before the bridge closed, the signs were covered. Once the closure took place, the signs were uncovered directing people to posted detours. Now that the bridge has reopened, the sign still remains, but now it's covered again. The same thing happened in Illinois, but there the signs were re-covered, turned in a direction not facing traffic, or partially dismantled and the parts placed on the shoulder. Why haven't these signs been removed? If a crew is going through the effort to cover/dismantle them, why not just put them on the truck and haul them away? Were the signs left in place because there is a future closure coming?
  • That project is managed by IDOT, who isn't on the chat. I believe that there is still some clean-up work from the bridge project which may require some short-term closures on the MLK. I have passed it along to IDOT to see if I can get a more definitive answer. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • So, driving into work downtown this morning on I-44, we saw traffic cones blocking the passing lane in both directions -- signifying yet another unannounced disruption of morning and evening traffic. Still recovering from the prolonged repairs to a small bridge just west of Shrewsbury Ave. and the resulting rush-hour tieups late in 2015, what are we in for this time?
  • It's the continuation of the rehabilitation of the bridges on I-44 that started last fall. This year, we are working on the Sublette, Southwest and Hampton bridges there. We shared information on our social media accounts and to the news media on Monday: Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • For MODOT - I took note yesterday that the City of Brentwood and MODOT has failed to take the measures required for the train-horn free "Quiet Zone," including the absence of "No Train Horn" signs that are to be mounted under the yellow advance warning grade crossing signs at the Union Pacific's "Lake Industrial Lead" railroad crossing at the intersection of Brentwood Blvd. and Russell Ave. This makes the crossing in violation of Federal Railroad Administration requirements and may result in the suspension of the Quiet Zone. In addition, there is no round yellow railroad crossing advance warning sign for traffic turning from eastbound Russell onto southbound Brentwood. If Brentwood does in fact want locomotive horns to again be sounded at this location, they need to notify Union Pacific so they can advise their crews in the company timetable. Thank you.
  • I checked with our railroad division on this -- Quiet Zones are created by a local community first applying for one, not the state. The municipality applies to the Federal Railroad Administration. Once approval is given by the FRA, the state issues an order describing what the fed and local agreed to, and then the improvements to make the Quiet Zone may move forward. Current Federal Railroad Adminstration records do not show a quiet zone for Brentwood Missouri.
    Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • We are checking the lighting circuits on Ninth and Tenth and a signal electrician will check Eleventh and Chestnut.
  • This morning at 6AM there were no street lights on Ninth or Tenth between Washington and Olive. Also, the traffic lights at Eleventh and Chestnut are pointed in all four directions even tho traffic only goes two ways.
  • The pedestrian crossing of the WB I-64 Hampton off-ramp seems to illuminate both the safe to cross and not safe to cross signals simultaneously.
    Also, do you know the EB I-64 exit sign for Kingshighway is knocked down as well as the sign at the gore of the WB I-64 on-ramp from Market?
  • Thanks -- I have shared that with the appropriate maintenance teams. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • A signal technician is being sent to Lansdowne and River Des Peres to check the detection.
  • Can you fix the timing of Lansdowne and River Des Pere? EB to NB always gets an arrow whether there's a car turning or not and WB to SB never seems to account for the amount of traffic waiting to turn.
  • Can you check for broken detection on Sublette at Manchester? Thanks!

    I've passed it along to our team. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
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