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, Aug. 28.

    It's Labor Day weekend, and traffic will be awful on I-70 and I-44 Friday and Monday. Any construction or lane closures we need to be aware of? Also, the new I-44 Meramec bridge construction doesn't look like it's had any progress in a couple of months. What's the updated schedule looking like for shifting traffic?
    Since Labor Day weekend is heavily traveled, we do try to avoid any lane closures for construction from about noon Friday to Tuesday morning after morning rush.  Now, in those areas where we have permanent closures (i.e. concrete barriers in place) like around the Meramec River Bridge, or on I-44 between Kinghighway and Jefferson), those closures will stay in place.  Since the Meramec was too high to construct foundations in the river for much of the summer, crews worked on other portions of the project.  We hope to take eastbound traffic to the new westbound bridge in December.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    On my way to work, I travel over an area that confuses my car's safety systems. About half the time, my car automatically brakes significantly while beeping at me that I am leaving the roadway. This happens when there was a lane that previously ended, but now extends through (364 East right over Arena Parkway). Is there any responsibility on the road department's behalf to assure that the lanes are striped in such a way that does not cause autonomous systems in cars to fail? I can't be the only one who experiences issues such as this and I'm reminded of a Tesla that drove itself into a wall while following what it thought were lane lines. Thoughts?
    There are still a lot of issues that need to be worked out with autonomous vehicles -- you have described one of them.  Some of that is probably determined by how your vehicle determines the lane line -- does it use GPS, is it viewing the roadway, etc.  We have no control over how and when GPS companies have their systems updated (or if people choose to allow their devices to be updated).  If it's viewing the roadway, the ground out lane line may be confusing it.  The only way to eliminate that would be to resurface the roadway in that area.  At this point, we do not have any plans to do so. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Is there any chance of extending the merge lane onto EB I-44 from Berry Road? Merging can get challenging, at times. Thanks!
    At this point, we have no plans to work on the I-44 area or the bridge at Berry Road.  It may be something to look at when we do work on that bridge in the future.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Regarding the 44 eastbound onramp at Berry, is it possible to something in the interim? Right now there are no signs even indicating there is a ramp merging? Can one of those be added and/or a sign warning that merging traffic is ahead. People who aren't familiar with the area probably don't expect an onramp there since there is no eastbound offramp at Berry.
    I've asked our traffic team to make sure that all the appropriate signing is in place here.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • How long do you expect there to be a lane closure on 44 EB at the Meramac bridge? Will this be a permanent lane closure until Winter 2021? This closure is extremely inconvenient and causes significant backups starting at 6am most mornings. Also, when do you expect the Watson bridge to open up again?
  • Right now, the current eastbound lane closure is scheduled to be through the end of October.  As of right now, weather permitting, we are extremely hopeful to be able to get the westbound Watson bridge reopened by the end of September - about a month early, since it is technically scheduled to remain closed through October..  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Thanks. What is the purpose of the current 44EB lane closure that starts around Mraz Lane?
  • Primarily, they are working on drainage in the median of I-44.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Mr. Gates,

    Do you know when the signal at Mackenzie and Gravois roads will be replaced? It was on MoDOT's list of upgrades but was put on hold due to funding. Thank you.
  • That is currently scheduled for next year.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Does the work along South Laclede Station Road include grinding and repaving? When will the work be completed? Why did they choose to replace portions of the curbs and sidewalks instead of all of them? Seems to me that the spot concrete repair/replacement required far more man hours than replacing them in their entirety, no?
  • Laclede Station Road will be resurfaced from Murdoch to Newport. Existing pavement will be milled up and new pavement put in its place. This will be the last phase of major work - as it is with all of our major improvement projects. We expect to have the job complete by this fall. We only remove and replace deteriorated sidewalks and curbing because that practice is actually more cost effective (i.e., "cheaper) than wholesale removal and replacement. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Good afternoon!  I apologize for missing the chat the past few weeks. 
    There have been several comments regarding the signal on Muegge Road in St. Charles.  To report traffic signal concerns, contact Gateway Green Light at 636-949-7900, ext. 8950.  Thank you!
  • The Manchester Board of Alderman raised that on April 1:

    Manchester increases speed limit in city limits

    West Newsmagazine A resolution was passed at the regular Manchester Board of Aldermen meeting on April 1 that will ch... Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Coming out of Granville South onto Highway 61 South in St. Charles County there is a long merge lane, so long that it could of very easily been extended to Wentzville Parkway making the lane an exit only lane fort the parkway. Why they didn't keep going the extra few feet I won't know. Any plans to add the extra few feet to make this happen and avoid the backups in the area. Thanks
  • That acceleration lane was constructed during the Route 61/Peine Road project to allow a subdivision there to get temporary access to southbound Route 61. Now that the project is complete, the subdivision is able to use the interchange at Peine Road, and we removed their temporary access. However, rather than spend the money to remove that acceleration lane, we've left it in place.  We have no plans to extend that to Wentzville Parkway at this time. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • I travel Manchester Road eastbound from Wildwood to basically Hwy 270 in the mornings and westbound in the afternoons at rush hour times. I believe there are signal issues at cross streets that cause major slowdowns at both times of day that should be reviewed.

    Two of them (that seem to be on set timers, since I get red lights on Manchester when there aren't even cars waiting for a green) aren't at actual cross-streets! One is in Ellisville at Bo Bueckman Ford; the other is in Ballwin at Buffalo Wild Wings/Schnucks.

    The other set of lights at cross streets are between Sulphur Springs/Baxter and Hwy 141 (School St, Louis Ave, Henry Ave. They each appear to be on set timers and/or on longer intervals than needed for any cross traffic there.

    Can these areas be checked and possibly changed to allow a better flow of traffic on Manchester during rush hour times? Thanks so much!
  • Thanks for the details -- I have asked our traffic team to take a look.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Any update about the drainage issues along I-70/44 north of downtown. (I asked last week about the dirt running into the shoulder along the north bound lanes just south of the exit for Madison and St. Louis Avenue.) I drove past it yesterday, and a pile of dirt/mud had tire marks in it and was very close to the driving lanes.
  • We are still working through the details for a repair.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    When will Big Bend be paved between Forest Park Parkway and Manchester?
    We're improving Big Bend from Manchester north to Delmar, a total of 3 miles of road way. The repaving phase of this job won't take place until next year. Our contractor currently is removing and replacing deteriorated curb and sidewalk, and will then build many dozens of wheelchair-accessible ramps on both sides of Big Bend. Some of the work you're seeing along this section of Big Bend is being done by Missouri American Water; the utility is installing 10,000 feet of new water main beneath Big Bend's southbound curb lane. Missouri American Water's project is expected to be complete by next month. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • I am concerned about the section of Watson Rd. where the Frisco tracks go over head between the entrance to the Walmart and Aldi’s road and Kenrick Shopping Center. There in NO sidewalk and people walk between those two shopping centers every day, even with shopping carts. When they come to the section under the tracks they have to walk in the road. I witnessed a woman in later age fall completely on her back into the road in this section. Thankfully many of us stopped and helped. I believe St. Louis County needs to find a safe way for people to walk this section of Watson Rd.
  • Watson Road is maintained by the state, and unfortunately, with the railroad bridge, there simply is no space for a sidewalk.  The railroad bridge is privately owned, and until it is rebuilt with a little more space under the roadway, there is nothing we are able to do there. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • I travel eastbound 44 since I work downtown. There are so many highway signs were the reflections on the letters have disappeared. Can someone from your department drive that route and take note with signs need to be repaired. It makes then difficult to read day and night. Thanks
  • We have done a pretty significant review of the signs along several interstates.  The signs along I-44 are scheduled to be replaced next year.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • At Manchester & Lindbergh, I noticed there is a right turn green arrow when turning N on Lindbergh from WV Manchester, but it’s obstructed behind a phone pole. Will the phone pole be moved to clear the obstruction?
  • That is signal work being done by the city of Kirkwood. We'll share your observations with them. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Mr. Gates,

    The signal at Mackenzie and Weber roads continues to have a problem with the detection for eastbound Weber traffic. This happens during daylight hours and it seems as though the sun causes the controller to think that traffic is present. It's a seven days a week issue.

    This has been a persistent problem. How about cutting detection loops and removing the camera? Another thought would be wireless detection and a puck.

    Thank you.
  • We'll take a look at it to see if there is an issue.  Typically, video detection is a bit more consistent than loop detection (and tends to last a bit longer). Sometimes, (and I'm not saying that is necessarily the case here), the issue can be addressed by the lead vehicle being at the stop bar.  Often times, they may be well behind the bar, or well forward, which makes it challenging for the video detection to pick them up.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • All the flash floods are devastating and I wonder if municipalities could also do their part to lessen the damage. I’ll use Brentwood as an example. I am using it because when you see the overgrown brush in the creek which runs behind the Promenade you wonder why it had grown so out of control. There is no doubt about it, that contributes to the flooding which often happens there.

    When you see heavy rains and the flooding they cause it makes you wonder if the residents could do something to help ease that problem! All of we have seen people mowing their lawns leaving the waste in the street. I’ve seen people blowing it into the drains which carry the water away. Aren’t there laws in the municipalities and the county against this? If so, why aren’t tickets issued to the lazy people who don’t do their part to prevent some of the flooding problems?
    Ticketing would be an enforcement issue amoung those municipalities that have ordinances to address homeowners leaving debris on the public right of way. Any material ( grass, trash, and the like) can cause a drain to get blocked, which makes it harder for the drainage system to work properly.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
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