Ask the Road Crew

Summer's in full swing, which means no school buses but lots of orange cones. Ask the MoDOT, St. Louis and St. Louis County road crew all your commuting questions during the weekly chat on Wednesday, June 22, at 1 p.m.

  • A few weeks ago, we had a question about putting flashing yellow arrows at Sappington and Gravois. Both eastbound and westbound left turns are not angled correctly to be able to safely allow people to make permissive left turns at that intersection. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications.
  • Could you check the walk signal/traffic signal at Hampton & Columbia Avenues? When walking north on Hampton, the walk signal gives me 3 or 4 seconds but in the meantime the light for northbound traffic has turned red giving a green light to the westbound traffic while I am in the middle of the crosswalk. This is very dangerous. I think something is out of whack.
  • The intersection of Hampton & Columbia is configured to provide northbound pedestrians a standard "walk" time of 7 seconds as well as the appropriate "flashing don't walk" time for the curb to curb distance of your crossing. The "walk" time is designed to start pedestrians that have been waiting for the signal change and the "flashing don't walk" time is to safely clear a person who has just set foot off the curb (after the initial 7 sec of walk had terminated) to cross to the other side. The traffic signal is also configured to physically prohibit conflicts as you describe so I'm not sure how your northbound pedestrian crossing (walk+flashing don't walk) would still be in operation while the westbound vehicle phase is active. I will note that the signal is set up with two sets of indications for east-west directions due to the width of the median. One set of the eastbound indications does come on to accommodate the southbound left turn, but the pedestrian crossing on the east side of the intersection (by Joey B's) terminates safely before that occurs. It may look odd because the pedestrian phase on the west side of the intersection (by SOHA) remains up as it does not conflict with the southbound left turn phase. These "extra" indications in the intersection are intended to operate as described above as well as to ensure vehicles clear the wide intersection without getting trapped in between.
  • Hi - do you have a timeline yet on when the westbound 64 paving between 270 and Clarkson will be complete and the new lane open for the full stretch? Thanks!
  • We're still looking at mid-July for all the resurfacing to be complete along westbound I-64 between Spoede and Clarkson. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Who is in charge of the Muegge/Mexico interchange? Yesterday there was another accident at the interchange. When turning left from NB Muegge onto WB Mexico, there is a double left turn. I've witnessed a lot of people go straight from the right left turn lane. It's clear to me, based on signage, but did this recently change? I think the new/open right lane is causing the confusion. Are there any future improvements planned this area? The evening traffic with the Cave Springs/Veteran's Memorial Parkway & Mexico/Muegge interchanges is getting worse and worse.
  • I believe the city of St. Peters owns the Mexico/Meugge intersection -- they made some recent changes in conjunction with some development work. MoDOT owns the roadway over I-70 (basically between the two outer roads). We don't have any improvements planned for that area at this time. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • The contract by which the suspect hillside will be stabilized is signed, and we're meeting with our contractor tomorrow morning to establish a schedule. (We estimate that the job will take 30 days.) Clearly, the sooner we complete this project, the better. Ideally, work would commence next week, but I can't offer any guarantees on that until after tomorrow's meeting. We'll issue a press release on the subject once a 'start' date has been fixed. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Looking for an update on the S. Eatherton Rd/Centaur road repair in Chesterfield Valley. It's been closed for almost six months. Any chance of it opening soon? Thanks.
  • When will Eatherton road reopen between the HWY 109/Wildhorse Creek intersection and Centaur Road?
  • I would like to follow up on previous chats related to northbound traffic signal coordination on McCausland/Skinker between the closely spaced signals at Clayton Rd/I-46 and Oakland Ave. In review, it was reported that the predominate flow of northbound traffic during the morning rush was now being stopped at the Clayton Rd/I-64 immediately after being released from Oakland Ave while this condition hadn't previously occurred. I described our process for troubleshooting signal timing as first verifying communications to the signal (necessary to ensure both signals share the same time of day - it was offline and communications were fixed), secondly confirming that the vehicle and pedestrian detection equipment was operating correctly (signals are timed assuming equipment is operating correctly - this was confirmed to be working), and lastly to revisit signal timing settings. The first two steps need to occur as any timing changes made in last step would be a moving target without correcting them first. In step 3 of our troubleshooting, we made a series of incremental adjustments to signal timing this morning at the two signals. We will continue to observe the morning rush to see if the timing changes hold up over the typical daily demands.
  • thanks for your information. Maybe the signals are out of sync. I've crossed it and noticed I still have time to cross while westbound traffic has a green light.
  • No problem at all - what side of Hampton are you on while observing this?
  • STL City - There is a pavement swell in the middle lane of southbound Kingshighway at McKree Ave by the QuikTrip. It is significant enough to cause wheel damage and needs to be ground down. Thank you.
  • I have informed our crews and they are being dispatched to field verify this. Thanks for the heads up!
  • Could the detour signs on SB Grand for I-44 be checked? Last night I was SB on Grand approaching Chouteau and I swear the signs said that those destined for both directions of I-44 had to go east on Chouteau (to Jefferson, likely) via two different detour signs. I went west on Chouteau to Vandeventer to get to WB I-44 as I was already in the right lane. A friend ahead of me said that the WB on-ramp was indeed open (no clue on the EB ramp). My concern is directing traffic on a detour when the ramp(s) were actually open. Is this by design, to reduce traffic at Grand and I-44, or is this a mistake? Secondly, why not send WB I-44 to Vandeventer? And finally, is Chouteau at Vandeventer on detection? It was 11:30 and I sat for a long time on WB Chouteau waiting for a green with very little traffic on Vandeventer. Thanks!
  • Those detours are correct -- we had to remove turn lanes to get two lanes in each direction, so drivers are not supposed to turn left from Grand onto the interstate on either direction (NB Grand to WB I-44 and SB Grand to EB I-44) -- at least without significantly delaying through traffic. For now, drivers can turn right. We are using Jefferson, primarily, as the detour for both directions as it works better and more safely -- we know that drivers who are familiar with the city can choose other routes for detours. The Chouteau/Vandeventer signal is being coordinated with the signal at I-64/Papin (which is very close) around the clock currently. The complete time to complete the signal cycle is two minutes. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • MODOT - Took three cycles of your lights to get from EB Big Bend to EB I-44 at 11:45 AM this morning. Could we smooth this out a bit? Thank you.
  • I've asked our team to take a look at this to see if there are any adjustments that can be made. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • STL City - Potholes on N. 11th from Salisbury to the highway 70 entrance ramp has potholes. Also, on the entrance ramp, the pavement has swelled up causing a nasty bump hard on my suspension. Thank you.
  • I have informed our crews and they are being dispatched to field verify this. Thanks for the heads up!
  • How long will Seventh Street be closed between Market and Chestnut?
  • 7th Street (between Market & Chestnut) is anticipated to be reopened next Tuesday. This was closed last week during the manhole fire incident at 7th & Market that knocked out a portion of the power grid downtown. Crews have been working to permanently fix the issue.
  • We expect to procure by 2018 the necessary funds to resurface Laclede Station from just north of Weil north to Newport. (Federal monies will be involved.) However, the project itself likely won't be complete until 2019. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Are there any plans to re-surface northbound Laclede Station Road between I-44 and Big Bend?
  • A couple months back, bringing back traffic delineators to keep traffic safe and flowing at westbound Olive and southbound 141 was discussed in this chat. When will we see them replaced at this intersection?
  • Our maintenance team has the request -- they will be installed when they can get to it -- right now, between striping, pothole and blow-up patching, mowing and other higher priority tasks, they have a lot on their plate. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Follow up on the detour signs. I believe there is also a detour sign for WB I-44 directing SB Grand traffic to take Chouteau to Jefferson when, as you say, you can make rights for the on-ramps. That was the part I was mostly asking about. Additionally, could those detour signs be posted any further back from Chouteau on Grand? Maybe they're placed fine, but I thought they came up on me quick. Thanks!
  • This is the first phase of several -- there will be a point when there will be no access to the ramps as crews work on the ramps at the entrance to the bridge. You don't want to constantly change your posted detour routes. I will share your concern about the sign locations. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • A couple city potholes. There's one on NB McCausland just past Plateau that has been there a long time. I reported it to the CSB and they came out and spray painted it, so I thought a fix was close, but now the paint has worn off and the pothole remains. Also, Sunday night there was a big one on SB Jamieson at Smiley near the I-44 overpass. It felt like it was very deep. Thank you!
  • I will follow up on the pothole locations you reported.
  • Tonight/Thursday morning (June 22-23), WESTBOUND Forest Park Parkway will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Shaw Park Drive to I-170 in Clayton. This closure will allow a St. Louis County contractor to resurface Forest Park Parkway from Brentwood Boulevard to I-170.

    During the closure, WESTBOUND motorists wishing to access I-170 from Forest Park Parkway will be detoured onto Shaw Park Drive, which “T”s into Brentwood Boulevard. Drivers will go north (right) on Brentwood to Maryland Avenue, where they will turn left. I-170 is accessible in both directions off of Maryland.

    Also today (June 22), Shaw Park Drive will be closed from Hanley Road to Brentwood Boulevard from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Shaw Park’s ramp/egress to Shaw Park itself will remain open.

    Tomorrow night and Friday morning (June 23-24), from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., I-170’s exit onto EASTBOUND Forest Park Parkway will be closed. (Westbound Forest Park Parkway will be open to traffic.) This closure will enable our contractor to resurface EASTBOUND Forest Park Parkway from I-170 to Brentwood Boulevard. Motorists who typically access EASTBOUND Forest Park Parkway from the Innerbelt are advised to take EASTBOUND Delmar Boulevard to Big Bend, turning right on Big Bend to reach Forest Park Parkway. DAVID WRONE, ST. LOUIS COUNTY
  • Is there an update on R Des Pere and Lansdowne? Last I heard, there was broken equipment and it was on order. Thank you!
  • Correct, we did order vehicle detection equipment. We are anticipating the delivery in a few weeks. Sorry for the inconvenience, we'll get it fixed immediately once we get the parts. Thanks!
  • More commentary on the new lights on Des Peres Road at the WB Manchester off-ramp (and the ones that are still not active at the entrance to 1650 Des Peres/New Development).

    I know you've said these lights are currently under the control of the developer of the property - but WHY? How is it even legal to allow a business to control traffic flow, instead of the County or MoDOT or the City?

    And if you'd come out here in the afternoons (between 4 & 6pm) you'd see how absolutely ridiculous traffic is, because of the timing of the new lights at Des Peres/Manchester offramp. I am already anticipating huge amounts of gridlock once the still-inactive lights go "live."

    What assurance do those of us who work in the Corporate Hill development have that we will be able to get out of our parking lot in less than 15 minutes (it took me 12 minutes to get from the edge of my parking lot to a green light at Des Peres/Manchester off-ramp last week - this is unacceptable!)?
  • When a developer does a project, they are responsible for making the changes necessary to the roadway system needed to move traffic in and out -- it would not be correct for taxpayers to foot the bill for changes needed for a developer's project. We work with them on the plans, we issue the permit to them to work on our roadway (just like any other organization can apply for a permit to work on the roadway.) However, since they are responsible for making the changes, we cannot go in and arbitrarily make changes to their equipment. We can pass along concerns to the developer, and if they are unresponsive, pull the permit. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • What on earth is going on with the bridge resurfacing project on 44? When I drive by in the morning I see at most three people working on each bridge, then when I drive home at night around 4:30 there is typically nobody there. Weekends the place is a ghost town. Considering how many drivers are impacted by this project why is the work being done so incredibly slow?
  • Crews are removing the driving surface, making repairs to the concrete under the driving surface, making repairs and completing preventative maintenance on several bridges to make them safe and operational for the foreseeable future. Like all heavy construction, this is a contract job, so we have to balance the cost of the project with the impact to the driving public and with the time it takes. If you require a contractor to complete a job faster, it increases the impact to the public and the cost to taxpayers. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • You are correct in that the streets are to be returned to proper condition following excavations as described. I would assume they are waiting until enough work in the area is complete prior to sending a large truck of concrete or asphalt. We will follow up on the status of the work in that area to see what the timeline is for repair.
  • Mr. Runde: I think it's been brought up before, but the condition of the right N-bound lane of Kingshighway between Devonshire and Chippewa is quite poor - a result of numerous utility excavations (mostly Laclede Gas). As a result, drivers "wise to it" want to concentrate in the left one, leaving a choice between getting in an overly-congested lane (and needlessly missing a light), or letting vour vehicle's suspension be battered by driving in it. I've seen it stated here repeatedly that utilities are required to retun a street's surface to "proper condition" after work, but driving over what seems like one railroad crossing after another for blocks hardly seems to qualify!
  • I understand not wanting to be constantly changing the detour signs. But you could cover them up/not place them until the detour is actually necessary rather than route people out of the way. I am sure it costs money and time to return to the sign location and uncover them and cover them, place or remove them more than once. But I bet drivers would appreciate not having to spend extra time driving unnecessarily. Thanks again!
  • Those drivers who use it regularly will know about all the other options besides the signed detour routes. The detour signs are more for the more irregular users. We appreciate your thoughts. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Can you provide an update on the plans to reconstruct Big Bend bridge over highway 270? With the entire bridge be closed during construction? Does this project include on/off ramps on the south side of Big Bend?
  • MoDOT held a public meeting a little more than a week ago to share information on next summer's plans to remove the concrete deck on the Big Bend Bridge over I-270. Our current plan is to close the bridge across the interstate to do that work, most likely while school is out. We will not be building ramps on the south side of Big Bend for two reasons – the railroad bridge and safety. MoDOT would be unable to construct safe access to the south because the railroad bridge is simply too close. In addition, the roadway drops significantly from Big Bend into the Meramec River valley. A ramp would have to follow the angle of that drop and merge onto I-270 almost at I-44. Merging that close to the interstate to interstate interchange would be unsafe. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • I'm curious to know who (agency?) is responsible for maintaining the area near I44 @Soccer Park Rd and the area beneath the Meramec River bridges? This area is very unsightly. There's uprooted trees and debris leftover from the winter flood. And other vegetation is overgrown. Thx.
  • I have passed this to our maintenance team to see what we can do. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • I don’t drive this route daily so I do not know if this is a regular problem, but I have driven westbound on Forest Park Parkway the last two Tuesdays, between 5:30 and 6pm. The traffic signals appear to be programmed to make traffic stop at every single traffic signal between Spring Avenue and Newstead Avenue. The worst part is, the signals don’t turn red until you approach them, so we are left sitting through the entire signal cycle. What should be a 3 minute drive actually takes about 8 minutes. This doesn’t seem to be the most efficient way of moving traffic.
  • This came up in a previous chat and our engineers are investigating this issue. Thanks for the detailed explanation as that helps us troubleshoot.
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