Ask the Road Crew

Whether you're on pothole patrol or concerned about your commute, the Road Crew has you covered. Join our experts from MoDOT, St. Louis and St. Louis County for answers to your questions about getting around in the St. Louis region. The chat starts at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

    Anytime I come from Warren Co to Kingshighway on Hwy 40, there is always a traffic jam beginning from about Chesterfield on in for at least 4 miles, especially because of the perpetual work being done on the No. Serv. Rd. at Timberlake...often with many accidents, and no police directing the traffic to keep it moving. Why can’t MoDot control this particular area and keep the traffic moving? Has gone on far too long.
    You don't say what time you are coming through, but based on your description, it is probably close to either morning or evening rush period. There is a lot of traffic on I-64, especially as it goes toward I-270 out of the Chesterfield Valley. The work that you are speaking of is a widening project along I-64. Westbound the work runs from I-270 to Olive (Route 340) -- eastbound, the widening runs from Route 141 to I-270. When that work is completed late this year, it which should help a bit with the flow of traffic on there. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    I have passed that along to our crews to see if they can repair the signal. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communication
    A signal electrician is being sent to repair the signal on St Louis Ave.
    On St. Louis Avenue there is a traffic light turned the wrong way. I did not get the cross street, but it is the next light west of Prairie.
    The Grand bridge is tricky -- looking at it from the roadway, it has a decent surface – although it is significantly patched. The problem is under the surface. The bridge design is such that water gets into the bridge (through cracks on the roadway) and can get trapped in there. About five years ago, we had some significant issues with a large amount of concrete falling off the bridge onto the roadway below. We were able to patch it and have been able to keep the bridge in operation since then. Let me stress that the bridge is safe -- if we believed it was not safe to travel on (or under) we would close lanes, or the bridge, as necessary. We are not only concerned about the traffic on the Grand bridge, but concerned about concrete from the underside falling on I-44 traffic. Winter is harsh on bridges (salt, water, and freezing) and our engineers believe that if we do not replace the bridge before next winter, there is a good chance that we will have to close lanes or the bridge for safety for an extended period of time. We understand that it will be inconvenient, but believe that it is better to have a planned lane closure for a short period (six months) than risk a potential long-term lane closure.

    During construction, we will continue to maintain north-south connections across Grand. Traffic can still turn right onto the interstate through construction, except for a couple two-week periods. We know rush hours will be difficult, but drivers can use I-64 to and from downtown. There is still interstate access at Hampton, Kingshighway to/from the north, Vandeventer, Jefferson and Lafayette. In addition there are several local overpasses and underpasses for residents to move north and south.

    Since we plan our funding about five years out, it usually takes about five years for a project to get through the process – in that time we have done everything we can to keep the bridge in operation.
    Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    A sign crew will be dispatched to replace the signs at 10th and on Locust.
    The street signs at Tenth and St. Charles were laying on the sidewalk yesterday, having been knocked off the pole by ????? Also, please replace the loading zone sign on the south side of Locust just west of Ninth. People park there and the delivery trucks for the Culinaria don't have a place to park. Thanks
    I appreciate the detailed response regarding the Grand bridge work. Believe it or not, I understand it too. But, I'm still confused on why it wasn't coordinated better with the bridge replacement on Kingshighway. There are only a few north-south arteries in the city and now 2 of them are having work done to them. It leaves Jefferson where the lights are never in sync and Hampton where the road is a nightmare from I-44 north to 40.
    The timing on construction projects can be very fluid, depending on many factors -- available funding, delays in developing plans and many other reasons. MoDOT has to meet its responsibility for its roadways, just like other organizations, such as the city, must meet their roadway responsibilities. Although due to conditions, it was impossible to avoid the work on Grand while St. Louis City works at Kingshighway, MoDOT is doing what it can to help reduce the impacts of the construction -- staging traffic across the bridge to keep Grand open, working with our partners to provide options, and sharing information about the project in enough time to allow people to look at their options and plan ahead for the project. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Traveling south on North And South Rd. at the intersection of Page -- while continuing south through the intersection drivers must use the right-hand lane (left-turn drivers have their own left-turn lane). The right lane (while traveling south and exactly at the first crosswalk) has a sewer or a drainage grate (or something like that) and it is exactly in line with the right tires. The dip from the pavement into that grate is so huge that it could potentially knock a car out of alignment. It is truly jolting. I wonder if that dip passes quality road inspection (if there is such a thing). I try to avoid the dip by traveling into the left-turn lane, but that can't always happen because cars do use that lane to turn left. I'd love for it to go away or be fixed! If someone could at least take a look at it, that'd be great. (And maybe place an orange cone so drivers know it's there and they can avoid it ..?) Thank you!!
    We've passed this along to our maintenance team to see if they can help fix the concern. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    We have passed this along to our maintenance team to see if we can get the posts replaced. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Currently the red light cameras are not in operation.
    The city still has red light cameras and signs. (Kingshighway & McRee and Hampton & Gravois) Are red light cameras still in operation?
    I'm sending your observation about SB 18th to our signal group. Are you seeing this during the evening rush?
    I'm bringing up once again as so many others have before about the lack of sync for the lights traveling south on 18th and also Truman. We've asked for at least two years and yet one still gets a red light at every signal from Delmar to Lafayette. Thank you.
    Will also pass this along regarding 18th.
    Primarily during the evening rush but even on a Sunday around noon when there is very little traffic.
    A lot of money was spent installing video sensors at the intersection of business 66 and Six Flags-Allenton Road. Why are they not used? Many times traffic sits for minutes while no one is in the intersection? Initially they were in use and traffic flowed flawlessly. Now, it just clogs up.
    Sounds like it might be a detection issue. I've passed it along to our team to check out. Please feel free to call items such as this in to our customer service. We have people answering the phones around the clock at 314-275-1500. Thanks! Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Can the left turn light at Musick and Gravois Rd be on a little longer in the afternoon drive time. It takes several cycles to get through it. Or, leave the light at EB Baptist Rd on red longer to give the drivers turning onto Musick Rd. a chance to turn left w/o all the westbound traffic hitting the intersection at the same time as our green light.
    We will take a look at this to see if we can make any improvements. Additionally, St. Louis County does have an upcoming project to add a dedicated left turn lane onto Musick, which may help in the future. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    now that the bridge work into illinois has been completed, will the express lanes downtown begin reversing again? going home westbound in the evenings has become trickier with many of the entrances to the highway removed due to the arch grounds upgrades. it would be nice to have the express lanes back to alleviate the traffic and jockeying that goes on in the evenings.
    We monitor the traffic levels during the morning and evening rush periods to see which direction is heaviest -- that is the side on which we open the express lanes. We continue to monitor those levels and have found that the traffic levels remain higher heading into (or through) the city during both the morning and evening rush. If that changes, we will look at switching the directions of the express lanes. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    On Southbound Brentwood Blvd approaching I64, can some addition signage be installed over the road (say on the I64 bridge) to clarify the lanes? I often see cars at the last second swerving from the I64 east left turn lanes to the through lanes and vice versa. The one sign identifying the lanes is pretty far back and if you don't notice early, there is just a jumble of about 5 lanes with nothing obvious to tell unfamiliar drivers where they are headed.
    We'll take a look and see if we can there are any improvements we can make to signage for I-64. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Good afternoon. Regarding the recent work on Manchester Road from Ballwin to Wildwood--some business entrances/exits were turned into Right In-Right Out, but is seems that some of the more hazardous and/or busiest ones were not. The one that comes to mind is the entrance/exit of Ellisville Square (Chuck E. Cheese, Michael's, Sports Authority) The drive immediately west of Jimmy John's allows for a left (eastbound) exit but there is the median right there, thus not allowing enough room for a vehicle to safely pull into. This creates a hazard as that vehicle blocks the westbound traffic. Are there any plans to make that drive a Right In Right Out?
    That turn was always full access -- we'll have to check to see if the median got any closer. There were no plans to make that turn Right In, Right Out as a part of the work along Manchester Road. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    In Chesterfield, on westbound Olive Blvd approaching Swingley Ridge Rd, there are multiple signs telling people to not drive on the wide shoulder. I frequently see people ignoring those signs and using the shoulder as a right turn lane, especially when the stoplight is red. My question is: why not just stripe the shoulder as a right turn lane onto Swingley Ridge Rd?
    The pavement placed for shoulders is thinner than that required for a lane. If you restriped the shoulder as a turn lane, it would quickly deteriorate with the extra use. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
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