Ask the Road Crew

They can't help if you run out of gas, but they can help with shortcuts, congestion queries and more. Join the Road Crew of experts from MoDOT, St. Louis and St. Louis County with all your St. Louis commuting questions on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 1 p.m.

  • With the I-70 reversible lanes permanently positioned in the eastbound direction, why continue marking the lanes to facilitate both eastbound and westbound traffic?
  • Although they are currently set in the eastbound direction, there is no guarantee that traffic levels will continue to be heavier into the city during both morning and evening rush period. We continue to monitor those traffic levels and will consider changing the direction of the express lanes when traffic conditions are appropriate. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications.
  • Two, maybe three weeks ago I informed you about the bloched job on WatsonRd. (in front of King Edward's Chicken). This is a state highway and NOTHING has been done about it. I parked on KE 's lot and watched traffic maneuver over it today and it is going to do some serious damage to cars and also cause some accidents! Can't MODOT get in touch with the people who tore it up and left it still torn up or should one of the news channels take a look at it?
  • It can take a while for utility companies (especially water) to put a permanent patch on the roadway after they finish work. They need to have a temporary patch to ensure that the repair holds, under pressure. In addition, they need to award a contract to make the permanent repairs. We continue to stay in contact with the utility company when we have an issue such as this, until they get it repaired. Part of the requirement of the permit that is issued during utility work on roadways requires them to repair the roadway back to the original condition. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Would DOT, or the proper authority, consider a flashing yellow left turn signal at Watson and Geyer Roads, heading east as one exits the highway? I travel through this intersection almost daily (at random / different times) and the timing on the lights is abusive to persons turning north onto Geyer. I wait for an extended amount of time, in a line of traffic, often through two cycles of light changes. There are many opportunities to make a safe left turn, due to the limited traffic traveling west on Watson. The line of vision is long and clear, so it would also be safe to judge the ability to turn.
  • We have looked at this recently, but even though it appears to have a good line of vision, the hill does create some significant concerns with the distance you can see approaching cars. Because of the concerns with seeing approaching cars, we cannot install a flashing yellow arrow at EB Watson and Geyer. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Where does MoDot stand on HOV//HOT lanes/BRT/Light Rail? With the 64 lane addition, was there any discussion on making one of the lanes HOV during peak times, even if it is for a trial period? It seems like with out a move toward something like HOV nothing will change? What is MoDot doing to move transit (automobiles, BRT, rail) into the future? If you look at other metropolitan regions around the country (L.A., Denver) there was a movement for an increase in sales tax to fund rail and or road expansions. Now, I feel like sales tax is already high in the STL region so doing that might be a stretch but surely there is some way to raise the needed funds. Thanks you.
  • At this time, there is no legislative authority for MoDOT to incorporate HOV/HOT lanes on any roadway. We work with East-West Gateway and our other partners on other transit options such as light rail or BRT. As a state, Missouri continues to face a long-term insufficient transportation funding challenge. As Missouri‚Äôs transportation stewards, we continue to seek additional funding that will deliver a modern transportation system that improves safety, advances economic development and creates jobs. However, what that funding looks like has to be determined by our legislators, and may require a vote of the public. Currently, MoDOT's funding comes from gas taxes, license fees and new vehicle taxes; Constitutionally, that money must be spent on roads and bridges. Any additional funding for transportation must come from general revenue and must go through the state's budgeting process. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • As a note, we had some problems with a signal control during this morning's rush period at Hampton and I-44. The signal was fixed at about 8:30. We appreciate your patience this morning during the delays in the rush period and apologize for the inconvenience. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • It was a year ago in the spring that I asked about the lack of striping on 141 north of N. Riverport Dr. You have paved and striped 141 to the south. There are spots with no striping. What are you waiting for?
  • We have roughly 7,000 miles of roadway in the greater St. Louis area that needs to be striped every year, and limited equipment. We focus primarily on the interstates and get to arterial roads such as Route 141 as we can. That stretch of Route 141 between N. Riverport and Route 370 is on our list and it should be striped before November. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Would it be possible to check traffic detection and overall signal timing at Manchester and Sublette? There are a lot of cars that are using Sublette as an alternate to Kingshighway and there are long backups at Manchester. For instance this morning, the signal for NB Sublette could have stayed green for a solid minute and it still would not have cleared all of the cars. Please also check the frequency that this signal cycles. Traffic on Sublette tends to wait an extremely long time for just a trickle of cars on Manchester. Please also check the coordination between the signal and the northern railroad crossing arms. It is quite aggravating to wait for a long signal, then a long train comes through, and then having to wait again for the signal to finally cycle. It stands to reason that the signal should cycle for Sublette immediately after a train passes. Are these signals connected to the southern set of railroad tracks? It doesn't seem like it as the trains on these tracks can be equally as long and the signal is completely unresponsive to train movements on the southern set of tracks. It would also be nice to enhance the "Stop here on red" signs for NB Sublette: the exiting sign is bent and partially faded; perhaps an identical sign on the left or west side of Sublette could be added to reinforce that one is not allowed to cross the northern set of tracks when the light is red. Last but most certainly not least, please check the traffic detection as it will get stuck green for Manchester and won't cycle for Sublette. This is when people start running the red light which causes a dangerous situation with the lack of sight lines with regards to the train tracks. I've noticed these symptoms at various times on weekdays during rush and non-rush periods. Thanks.
  • Manchester is our roadway, so we can share information on that road where Sublette crosses; The city would have to share any additional information for Sublette. We checked all the detectors on Manchester at Sublette -- they are all working correctly. The signals on Manchester are coordinated so they work together along a stretch of the corridor. Manchester does carry the most traffic, and so, we have to make sure we give traffic along Manchester the most time. However, that means that traffic on side roads, especially after a train passes, may get limited time to ensure that the Manchester timing stays coordinated. The signal is not tied into the southern railroad crossing next to the river-- there is enough space between two crossings to allow Manchester to operate normally. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Any update at all regarding the condition of Kingshighway south of Chippewa/north of Christy? The right lane, northbound, is in deplorable condition. Beyond deplorable. The "repairs" from chasing a gas leak are failing, and there are "changes" in the surface that are worse than speed bumps. Since speed bumps are illegal in the city, why are these "fake speed bumps" allowed to remain?
  • Are you referring to the utility work going in that area or the normal pavement condition?
  • Thank you Andrew. I was going to mention how traffic was backed up from Fyler north through I-44. It finally opened up near West Park. It was a mess and that was at 6:30AM. I can't imagine what it was like by 8:30AM.

    On another hope, is there any relief on Jefferson south in the PM rush? Traffic is backed up to Market. It takes over 15 minutes to go from Market to I-44. Something needs to be done. Disconnecting the light at Scott would help. There wasn't a light there until a few years when the Jefferson overpass was rebuilt. At least in the evening could it be disconnected? Traffic would still stop at the red light over 40 so traffic on Scott would have that option to go move. It really is a nightmare.
  • Jefferson & Scott is slotted for new vehicle detection installation. We hope to have this resolved in next few weeks. Thank you for your patience.
  • I saw a complaint last week regarding the intersection of I-64 and Hampton; specifically, the EB I-64 to SB Hampton movement. I've been frequenting this intersection nearly daily at various times between 6am and 4pm for the last couple of years. During observations while SB on Hampton, WB I-64 to SB Hampton traffic gets cut off early by a red light at Oakland (Oakland goes red while cars are still exiting the highway). This causes the traffic exiting the highway to queue sometimes blocking the right turn lane from EB I-64. Then the light for SB Hampton leaving Forest Park turns green while the light at Oakland is still red. Some of the cars usually don't block the intersection--which is north of the right turn lane from EB I-64 that the viewer was speaking about last week--but there are several times when this traffic will also block the intersection. What are they supposed to do? Sit in Forest Park indefinitely because of ill-timed signals and interstate traffic that is favored at this intersection? The timing of the City signals south of I-64--particularly Oakland, Clayton, and Berthold need improvement--it varies as to which one cycles first and I'd at least hope that there should be a certain pattern here. The signals at West Park and Hampton Ave Cutoff/McDonalds/Shell don't seem to be in sync with the remaining signals for SB traffic. Even though I'm starting off from the beginning of SB Hampton and theoretically the signal timing should be based off of my movement at I-64, I'm always catching the tail end and sometimes stopping at West Park and the signal at McDonalds goes red most of the time upon approach. Thanks.
  • Are the issues you observed on Hampton over the last couple years consistent during that time or is this something that has occurred off and on? I say so since we haven't had any complaints until last week's chat that I recall. We will investigate, but I was wondering about the time frame to help us troubleshoot. Any work we do on this route will be coordinated with MoDOT's signal at I-64.
  • Over the last few weeks, the signal at Sutherland and Kingshighway is going red during the 10am hour weekdays. I thought this light was on detection, but there appears to be no pedestrians or left turning to SB Kingshighway vehicles to trigger the red. Can this be checked?
  • We will send someone out to investigate. There is vehicle detection on the east leg of this intersection to trigger signal control for vehicles exiting.
  • Both the HOV question and a recent trip downtown via I-70 leads me to ask this question:

    We can keep building mega-highways with 6 lanes in each direction, but the reversible lanes (like we have on I-70) would seem to solve the need for overpaving our way to the edges of urban sprawl. Why wasn't that concept expanded past I-70?
  • Reversible, or express lanes, are one tool our engineers keep in the tool box, as well as many other options. If we had an appropriate area, or opportunity to use them, we could consider it. However, express lanes have a few draw backs. 1) You have to have a good amount of traffic that needs to go to one location (such as downtown), since you cannot get out of the express lanes. 2) They cost a bit more (equipment to manage the lanes, as well as at least one extra barrier wall along the roadway 3) Increased upkeep costs -- you have to have equipment to control the entry/exit points; that equipment needs to be regularly maintained, and you have to have people trained to operate it manually, if needed. 4) It reduces options during maintenance/repairs/construction -- if you have extended maintenance within the express lanes, you really need to close all the lanes for safety. You have options of shifting traffic around when you have multiple interstate lanes. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • On my drive home on I-64 from Brentwood to Lindbergh, I have noticed a lot of debris on the shoulder and some if it accumulating on the storm drains, leaving them partially blocked.
  • I have passed that along to our maintenance team to check out. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • 2 items for Mr. Runde:
    - last week, I asked a question about the new LED streetlights that was posted, but not responded to,
    - can you explain the reasoning for changing the light at S. Kingshighway and Sutherland from detection to cycling? As a result, cars on K sit at a red light for no reason about 99% of the cycles for S. As it appears that the Magdalen Center is now closed/for sale, this makes even less sense.
    Thanks.
  • Unfortunately last week when I responded the chat had just closed out. Sorry for that. The LED replacements in the City are occurring in several ways now: through replacement of broken fixtures as part of normal maintenance, through aldermanic ward capital improvement projects, and by Department of Energy loans (paid back through savings incurred from replacements). The LED's are replacing the high pressure sodium fixtures at an equivalent light level, but with an energy consumption savings of more than 65%. The 4000 Kelvin light temperature has been shown to be appropriate for the urban area we are serving that provides adequate light levels for streets to view vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists on the roadway. It should be noted that our street lights are intended to illuminate the streets and not to provide continuous coverage for the adjacent sidewalks. When that is warranted, a separate decorative pedestrian light system is more appropriate. As for the intersection of Kingshighway & Sutherland, I just replied to someone else that we are going to investigate this location as the detection installed on the east leg of that intersection sounds like it is malfunctioning.
  • Once the three lanes being worked on on 44W/55S are completed, will the now open lanes be closed? Traffic is a nightmare in the evening rush
  • Yes, our crews are working on preventative maintenance on the bridge/viaduct over 3rd street -- they will need to shift traffic around to complete that maintenance, but it probably won't happen until next spring. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Original question/answer copied below. I'm talking about the current condition of the pavement that is the result of utility repairs from two or three YEARS ago. Now it's so rough NOBODY drives in the right-hand, north-bound lane between Christy & Chippewa. It might not be a bad idea for you to go drive that section yourself. In the right lane. At 35-40mph. In your OWN vehicle (not one paid for by taxpayers).


    Are you referring to the utility work going in that area or the normal pavement condition?
    by Steve Runde 12:28 PM

    Reply
    Permalink

    Any update at all regarding the condition of Kingshighway south of Chippewa/north of Christy? The right lane, northbound, is in deplorable condition. Beyond deplorable. The "repairs" from chasing a gas leak are failing, and there are "changes" in the surface that are worse than speed bumps. Since speed bumps are illegal in the city, why are these "fake speed bumps" allowed to remain?
  • I will have our street crews check this area out. Thanks for your observations.
  • Our signals group will investigate. Thanks for the report. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • 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!
  • I'm with Hewlettpackard on the timing of lights on Hampton from 40 south to Arsenal. It's usually in the PM rush. Oakland, Berthold, West Park and then the one by Denny's/McDonalds needs help. And it's not just getting off 40 heading south. I've been in Forest Park (taking Lindell west out of downtown -mistake) and want to head south. The lights are still out of whack.
  • We haven't changed the timing down this stretch of Hampton, but we will investigate this complaint.
  • When will the stoplight on Broadway, at the southside of Busch - Poplar, i think - be synced with the rest of the lights from downtown? I've seen before it's due to the crosswalk, but all the other intersections have crosswalks as well. The cardinals only have a few more games left, but there's no reason that should be out of sync at 9pm on a weekend
  • We will check the pedestrian and vehicle detection at the intersection of Broadway & Poplar to see what is happening.
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