Ask the Road Crew

Ask the Road Crew

Get help with getting around St. Louis by joining our weekly Road Crew chat with experts from MoDOT, St. Louis and St. Louis County. The chat starts at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7 .

    When will the construction on I-44 be completed? Whenever I drive through the Grand to Hampton section I never see anyone working. What time of day is it being worked on? Will all lanes be open through the winter months or will drivers have to negotiate two lanes westbound that are bordered by New Jersey dividers when/if we have snow? It is already difficult enough going through there when it is raining, I can't imagine driving through that when snow flies. Also, when will the I-44 section at Shrewsbury be competed?
    You mentioned the timeline for the construction on I-44 in the city. My question is regarding the lane configuration. You're going to rebuild the pedestrian overpass this winter. Will it still be 2 lanes west and 3 lanes east? From what I can tell from MODOTs site, next winter while you rebuild the westbound lanes there will be 3 lanes west and 3 bounds east. Is this right? That might help the evening commute, which currently is a mess. Thank you.
    We will continue to have construction on I-44 for the next few years.  The work on the section of Grand through Kingshighway will continue through spring 2020. Most of the work on the Grand through Hampton section is on bridges, and that is often below the roadway and below the view of drivers. Most of the work is done during the day, unless we are moving barrier on the interstate.  We modified the westbound flow of traffic from the original plans to help improve safety.  We will consider that for next year's work on the corridor between Grand and Kingshighway as well.  Having two, wider lanes with a good size shoulder helps avoid traffic feeling overshadowed by larger trucks and also gives a space for disabled vehicles to pull off in the work zone (and means that drivers don't have to drive on the drains.) I would still expect some lane closures through the winter while we are working on the pedestrian bridge.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Mr. Gates,
    The signal at Mackenzie and Weber is still having detection issues for eastbound Weber Road. This time I observed the signal at dusk over the weekend. As stated in my last post, the sun in the western sky seems to affect the cameras for eastbound Weber. Also, I was southbound on Rock Hill Road stopped at the signal for Gravois Road, Rock Hill and MO 21 . I noticed that my side of the signal (again southbound) received a green arrow for a left turn when no cars were present. This was Monday about 3:00 PM. I don't know if this is a persistent problem or a one off. Thank you.
    I have passed it to our signal team to check out and see if there is an issue.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Dave,
    Affton Plaza bought all of the houses on Tobey and Swifton avenues and is in the process of razing them. I assume that the streets will be vacated and the land converted to part of the plaza. Can you confirm? Thank you.
    I'll need to research this, and will post a reply in an upcoming Road Crew. David Wrone, St. Louis County
    STL County - the left turn signal going from Clayton Road onto Highland / St. Rita continues triggering the arrow for ghost traffic at all hours. Please repair.
    I'll forward this to our signals group for investigation. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • My question is regarding Kerth Road (between Butler Hill Rd and Wells Rd) They are running new pipe along Kerth. The road has been torn up and driving on it is so bumpy it's like driving on a mountain road. Are there plans to repave it this year?
  • The utility company will begin restoring Kerth's pavement within one to two weeks. Although Kerth has asphalt pavement, the driving surface within the project area will be restored with concrete. We have a major improvement project scheduled to begin next year on Kerth, and were we to require the utility company to restore the road to its pre-pipe installation project condition (i.e., an asphalt driving surface), that new asphalt would be removed as part of our work next year. Weather will determine whether the pavement restoration work is finished this construction season, as concrete won't cure properly in excessively cold weather. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • David, I live in a subdivision in STL County and have neighbors that rake their leaves into the middle of the street. Are there any laws to prevent this? We dont have curbside pickup and they should be bagged. Thanks!
  • I'll need to run this question past our County Counselor's office. (I'm personally unaware of any such law, but that certainly doesn't mean one doesn't exist.) Look for a response in an upcoming Road Crew. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Mr. Gates,
    One question out of curiosity, no complaint or request for service. I have noticed that when I stopped at a red light that has the flashing yellow configuration, when my light turns green and no one is in the left turn lane, on some signals the red arrow for a left lags the green through light and then goes to the flashing yellow. At other intersections, the flashing yellow comes on with the green through light. Is this related to pedestrian movements to allow a pedestrian to start crossing which would then alert a motorist turning left to yield to the pedestrian? Thank you.
  • That lag prevents aggressive drivers from trying to ‘floor it’ the second the light goes to the flashing yellow arrow state. It helps with reducing accidents from a left turn driver seeing a very tiny gap in traffic as it’s starting up; it also allows the opposite through movement to get started. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications

  • Mr. Wrone: I had the misfortune to drive S-bound on New Hampshire between Heege and Weber (in Affton) - the continuous patching on the right side of the lane (I assume to replace either a gas line or lay cable) made me want to "check my fillings" afterwards! The repairs don't come close to meeting the "putting it back to how it was" criteria. As I'm not aware of when this patching occurred, I'm wondering if it's supposed to be an interim fix - if not, the contractor needs to be "brought to task". Thanks.
  • This rough pavement is temporary. Permanent repairs must still be made by Missouri American Water. However, a time table for that work hasn't been determined. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Mr. Gates,
    You still didn't answer the question about the lane closures. Will they continue to be the hot mess that they are now throughout the winter months or will we have a couple of months of relatively open highway (like happened at Shrewsbury)? What will happen for winter slick/slushy weather in that corridor? It looks like a lot of accidents waiting to happen.
  • We are working to restore the lanes between Kingshighway and Grand over the winter months, but we don't have the specific timing on that work yet.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Prop D failed for the simple fact that MODOT is only throwing money at a chronic, growing problem: there are way too many semi trucks beating the heck out of our infrastructure. The simple solution to raise revenue to make repairs is to install truck-only tolls on the highways. We, as taxpayers, would also see solutions to reduce truck traffic throughout the state. This is accomplished by balancing out infrastructure spending to give rail a greater piece of the pie. Jack Wright in MODOT's rail freight division could plan and oversee new initiatives such as restoring rail freight service along the Rock Island rail corridor being gifted to the state by Ameren. Between St. Louis and Eldon, freight rail would take tens of thousands of trucks off the roads allowing MFA, clay mines, and manufacturing centers access to the US rail network. Until the taxpayers see such initiatives, hitting the little guy to subsidize the trucking industry with new taxes will get voted down every time.
  • Thanks for your suggestions.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • I believe Prop D failed because taxpayers were leary about the money going to the highway patrol plus it violated the single subject rule. Can we expect to see a ballot item in the near future with the money going to MODOT and local transportation departments? I believe most people want better roads but dont want politicians being able to get their hands on the money which was the case of Prop D.
  • Any ballot issues would have to come through the legislature or by grass roots efforts by the public.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • As always, thanks for doing these chats. On westbound Olive, after N Warson Rd and approaching Old Olive Street Rd, in the far right lane (which is a right-turn only onto Old Olive Street Rd) there is a sewer that is deeply recessed into the pavement. It lines up exactly with the passenger-side tires and makes for an unwelcome jolt. Can someone look into this? Thanks!!
  • I've passed it along to our maintenance team to check into and see if they can do anything.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Hi! Thanks for hosting these chats. I was wondering if you know who inspects and is responsible train bridges over residential streets? In Maplewood the train bridge that goes over Canterbury just north of the intersection at Greenwood has support poles that appear to be in very poor condition. A large amount of the concrete has fallen off and a significant amount of rebar is showing. I have to drive under it atleast 2x a day. Its appearance makes me nervous that is not as sound as it should be.
  • Railroads are privately owned companies, so usually, they are responsible for inspecting and repairing any railroad bridges. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
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