Ask the Road Crew

Ask the Road Crew

Is your route to work giving you a headache because of potholes, poorly timed lights or street construction? Let the experts know, and ask them your questions about highways and roads. The live chat starts at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19.

    John -- I passed your concern about Chippewa along to our maintenance team to check out.  The city maintains Hampton, so I will let them respond to that portion of your concern.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Ramps from I-270 WB to I-70 are closed for the next two weeks, so the MoDOT suggested detour is to take I-270 to MO-370 to MO-141, then south on 141 and reconnect to I-70. Well, if you want to get to St. Charles county, you need to continue WB on 370. Why in the world would you close lanes for construction on WB-370 at 94 when this major detour for I-270 WB to I-70 ramps is in effect at the same time??? Couldn’t you have delayed the start of the WB 370 at 94 work a couple of weeks until the I-270/I-70 ramps were rebuilt?
    The ramp closure at I-270 and I-70 will take about 10 weeks -- we are trying to get that work completed during the summer months when traffic tends to be lower, and when most school is out of session. There is also a general push to try to complete some critical project s on 70 and 370 in preparation for the upcoming design-build project on the north section of I-270.  That project will rebuild large sections of the 270 corridor in north St. Louis County and we anticipate an increase traffic on both 70 and 370. For example, the St. Charles area will be having a large rehabilitation project on the Eastbound I-70 Blanchette Bridge coming in 2020.  That project was originally slated for 2021, but since funding for the 270 north project fell into place for 2021, we have now accelerated the Blanchette project to avoid additional traffic generated by the 270 project.  So a lot of coordination does indeed happen behind the scenes between different geographical areas of the region. In addition, the first days of any new closure are often the worst (as people are working their way through the options). For instance, if you are heading west into St. Charles, you might consider I-270 to Route 364 instead of using Route 370.  You could also use Lindbergh to get to westbound I-70.  We understand the frustration that this can create, but we are also trying to get a lot of work done to ensure the roadways are safe and operational as we move into construction along a major corridor in north St. Louis County. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Last week someone commented on the backups going south on Lindbergh during the evening rush. The extra volume because of 44 detours might be partially to blame as you said. However, in May there was a sign that they would be working on the traffic signals on Lindbergh. Ever since then the lights at Kirkwood Commons are out of sync with all the others. This causes cars to be so backed up that even when the light at Big Bend turns green there is no room to proceed. It wasn’t like that before they “fixed” the signals. Thanks.
    We will share your observations with the traffic team working to keep traffic moving during the construction of the Watson Road ramp bridge to I-44/I-270.  We maintain the signals along Lindbergh south of Big Bend, while Kirkwood maintains them in the municipality north of Big Bend.  They are working on a signal replacement project along the section of the corridor they maintain.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    MoDOT really needs to step up maintenance of shoulders. I my travels through the St. Louis District I noticed lots of toad kill, road rubber, even crash debris. Our supervisors actually paying attention while they drive and are they just sitting around sleeping while collecting a paycheck? It be my responsibility to call in items that I noticed four or five days ago.
    We have 6,800 miles of shoulder in the greater St. Louis area that we maintain.  Our crews are out every day working on the roads, including picking up debris alongside the roadway.  Higher priority issues can pull staff away (for instance, closing roadways due to flooding, or reopening them).  All employees are encouraged to report issues that may be a safety concern along the highways as they see them.  However, we always encourage drivers to share what they notice (as 2 million+ eyes can see a lot more than 1,000 plus eyes.) and let us know by talking to one of our customer service reps, 24/7 at 275-1500.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Are there any plans in the near future to re-strips the lanes on local Interstates and if so, paint that is more reflective and last longer than the current product? Example, I-170, it is very difficult to see the white stripes at night. And, if it is raining, you cannot see them at all creating a difficult situation. Thank you.
    Our crews are currently working on restriping around the area.  The significant amount of rain that we have had prevents them from making as much progress as they might like as quickly as they would prefer.  We place reflective beads in the paint to help them reflect lights at night -- however, rain is often as reflective as those beads, so you can often lose the stripe in the rain.  Plows and chemicals used during snow fighting can also have a damaging effect on those beads and on stripes.  We do have reflective markers that we have inlaid into the pavement on several roadways that are intended to help improve seeing the lanes during inclement weather.  We are continuing to add those around the region as we resurface roadways.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Are there any updates on Musick Road? Over a month ago you indicated you were "finalizing the design". There still appears to be very little work being done beyond some sod/finishing work. Are we still on track for right-in/right out?
  • We're currently negotiating with our contractor on the amount of money St. Louis County will pay the company for the additional work necessitated by the presence of Missouri American Water's thrust block (an underground, L-shaped concrete structure). Once those negotiations are complete, work will resume - obviously, the sooner, the better. And, yes, we still intend on opening up Musick at Gravois ASAP for "right in, right out" - that is, eastbound Gravois drivers will be able to turn right onto Musick, while northbound Musick Drivers can turn right (east) onto Gravois. David Wrone, St. Louis County
    The timing of lights on Clayton heading west between Mason and schoettler is horrible. It seems the intersection at While Foods stops the westward flow. Can they be redone? It’s causing significant delays and gridlock by folks getting stuck in intersections.
    I'll forward your report to our signals group for investigation. David Wrone, St. Louis County
    In Chesterfield, on Wild Horse Creek Road at Benton Taylor Lane/Wildhorse Elementary, there is a stop light that turns red for Wild Horse traffic when a car pulls up to make a right out of Benton Taylor, even if the car has already pulled out. Is the sensor messed up? Seems to slow the main line of traffic on Wild Horse when this happens. Should this light only operate when school is in session/season?
    I'll get this to our signals division for investigation. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • I'm curious regarding an on-going issue with the work being done on Lacleade Station. Most days I drive thru it the signage indicating lane closures has been either missing or out wrong wrong (for example a few weeks ago coming south the signage before Newport read Right Lane closed only to find the Left Lane Closed as you passed Big Bend) This has caused on a few days the traffic to back up worse than needed as drivers heed the signage move out of that lane and then find they are now in the closed lane.
  • I'll share your report with our Construction division - the group that oversees our construction projects. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Who controls the traffic signals on Manchester going through the Grove?
  • MoDOT is responsible for the signals along Manchester (Missouri Route 100) in that area.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Thanks. Traffic continues to back up going west around 4 to 4:30 because the light at Taylor is out of sync. Yesterday we sat through 3 green signals at Newstead because no one could move since no one could move at Taylor. Part of the problem is that cars going east get a green light first. While they are proceeding cars traveling south on Taylor keep making a right turn and when we get a green light there is no room to proceed. Thanks again.
  • Thanks for the information -- I have shared it with our traffic expert in the city to take a look at it.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
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