Ask the Road Crew

Get a heads up before you head out so you know where the construction, congestion and other trouble spots may be around St. Louis. Or ask our Road Crew experts about ill-timed signals, strange signs and more. Join the weekly chat on Wednesday, May 30, at 1 p.m.

    On Eastbound Manchester at Lindbergh where the center curb was extended, the lane lines are disappearing such that the drivers in the left lane make the quick jog at the curb, but a lot of the drivers in the right lane don't notice the shift and are cutting across the lane dividers. This is especially true driving into the early morning sun. Can reflectors be added to the pavement or maybe the concrete curb extension be replaced with flexible bollards so that the jog is not as sharp? Thanks...
    I have asked our striping team to go out and touch up the striping here.  Our traffic team will monitor the area to see if there are additional issues before considering bollards or other options.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Good day, thank you for hosting these chats. This question is for the City. Do you know if the sidewalk on Memorial Drive where it meets Washington Avenue and Eads Bridge will be repaired as part of the Arch Grounds makeover? The sidewalk her was torn out months ago, but it does not appear that anything further has been done since. Can the City put the pressure on the Arch's contractor to get this done ASAP?
    This is one of those odd jurisdictional areas.  Memorial Drive (the I-44 outer road) at Washington is MoDOT maintained, but of course the work is being done by several partners of the Gateway Arch project.  There have been some issues with trucks damaging the curbs, fence and signals as they are making turns at that location, as well as some repairs underground that need to be made before the sidewalk can be repaired.  Having the Eads bridge and the MetroLink tunnel so close complicates matters. All of the project partners have been working together to come up with an appropriate design to repair and resolve this issue as quickly as we can.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications.
    I was driving on Big Bend at Manchester yesterday and saw an ominous electronic sign indicating big delays on Big Bend. I assume they're going to fill in the pavement under the temporary steel plates and hopefully more than that. What is the exact timing on any lane closures (even during rush hour in the AM and PM?) and how long will those last? Will detours be needed?
    This Friday morning (June 1), northbound Big Bend's right (curb) lane will be closed at its approach to Manchester, and will remain closed for three to four weeks. The closure is related to our ongoing, intersection widening project at Big Bend and Manchester. This closure will likely create traffic flow issues, so you may want to avoid traveling north on Big Bend south of Manchester until the lane is reopened. David Wrone, St. Louis County.
    A Road Crew recently wrote: "I think there is something wrong with the timing of the lights on Brentwood Boulevard. When departing work at rush hour from Clayton, going south on Brentwood to I-64/40 west is a nightmare. Is there something you can do about the timing of the lights?" ST. LOUIS COUNTY'S REPLY:  After receiving your report, our signals group observed traffic flow along Brentwood Boulevard during several evening rush hours. Their observations revealed that southbound Brentwood traffic was more congested than usual - and traced the culprit to southbound motorists stacking up at the signalized intersection of  Brentwood and Eager Road. In an effort to remedy this problem, signals personnel revised the timing of several signals north and south of Eager Road. We'll monitor Brentwood Boulevard over the next two weeks to ensure that the adjustments are having their intended effect. David Wrone, St. Louis County  

     

  • I know a lot of people will roll their eyes on this one but I fear for my life driving through the Highway 44 construction zone in Shewsbury due to the fact the people outright ignore the lower speed limit in that area. I have to drive through there at the minimum of 55mph (even though the limit is 45) because if I drive any slower someone is going to rear end me. I had one instance where someone was whipping through the lanes looking for openings and when he popped out from behind a semi trailer less than a foot from my bumper I had to mash the gas pedal to keep him from hitting me in the slow lane. I have yet to see any enforcement of the speed limit and safety in that area. Does MoDOT coordinate with law enforcement to manage safety concerns in construction zones or does law enforcement patrol on their own accord? Is MoDOT not so concerned about safety in this particular work zone because all of the work is happening behind jersey barriers which is greatly limiting the threat of vehicle incursions into the area? Thank you all for having these chats.
  • We do work with law enforcement -- in fact,  the changes on the number of lanes and increased lane width between Grand and Kingshighway was due to comments from law enforcement.  Law enforcement does provide their own patrols at times, and we do work with them to try to set up times when they are visible in the work zone.  Work zone safety is very important to us because it protects the crews that are working out there as well as the drivers.  Work zones are set up to provide the safest guidelines for the traveling public.  However, people have the responsibility to obey the guidelines that are established through work zones.  However, the only way we could prevent them from choosing not to obey those guidelines is if we could arrange law enforcement presence 24-hours a day, which is impractical and would be fairly expensive.  We do appreciate your efforts to remain as safe as possible.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    MODOT - We were told by your agency that once the new bridge was opened at Kingshighway & I-44 that all new signal equipment would be installed and synchronized. At 5 PM during the rush, as has been the case for the past several years, everything was out of whack as I was heading south. When the light at Northrup, owned by the City, went red, the MODOT signal for the I-44 interchange went green. Then Northrupwent green and MODOT went red. Then that pattern continued for the next signal. So when will both MODOT & STL City finally work together to iron out this mess both here and at many other locations people repeatedly complain about on this forum?
  • You are partly correct -- the city installed new signal equipment at Shaw and at the ramp from eastbound I-44 as a part of their Kingshighway rebuild work.  We will be installing new signal equipment at the westbound ramp as part of our work on the I-44 bridge over Kingshighway, but that portion of the project is not scheduled to be worked on until this winter.  We do continue to work with the city to get traffic safely off the interstate and moving as smoothly as possible on the city street network.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications.
    Last night at 1 AM I was eastbound on Big Bend stopped burning valuable fuel and time at the light for Laclede Station Rd. Why, in the middle of the night, are we not programming the signals to be reactive to traffic?
  • The signalized intersection of Laclede Station Road and Big Bend Boulevard is so close to the signalized intersection of Laclede Station Road and Newport Avenue that we have to program these traffic signals to be coordinated at all times, with Laclede Station Road being the coordinated phase.  We realize that to maintain signal coordination along Laclede Station Road, drivers on Big Bend Boulevard will periodically experience delays entering or crossing Laclede Station Road. We regret that inconvenience, but it’s unavoidable. David Wrone, St. Louis County

  • I’m hoping that southbound 141 at 44 will not be permanently narrowed to 2 lanes just before the flyover to EB 44. This is creating a horrible bottleneck during the afternoon rush. Are there plans to somehow widen this back to 3 lanes?
    That project is mostly in its final configuration at this time.  There is one more small piece adding another turn lane from eastbound I-44 to northbound 141 that should be completed in the next day or two.  We did open the last major piece of the project last Friday morning, which allowed us to give more signal time to the traffic heading southbound in the evening, so you should start to see an improvement as traffic continues to learn the new traffic patterns in this area.  We really couldn't keep three lanes going through there, as we needed to have traffic be able to a) exit to westbound I-44 without blocking the ramp to eastbound I-44 and b) give traffic from westbound I-44 to southbound Route 141 their own lane to prevent them from backing up and blocking the interstate. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    St. Louis City needs to patch up some potholes on northbound Macklind between Manchester & Oakland.
  • We will check out Macklind & get that section on list if not already.
    A question for MODOT - was any though given to shutting down I-44, as was done with I-64, and getting all the bridge work done at once, instead of having multiple years of detours? Thanks!
  • There are several issues with trying to do the I-44 corridor that way. First, Missouri's constitution prevents MoDOT from spending money it doesn't have.  We were able to get legislative approval to get bonds for the I-64 project, which provided the lump sum of funding for the project.  In this case, we are spending money as it comes in each year for the various bridge projects along I-44.  In addition, there really was a good way to detour traffic around the I-64 closure (with I-170 in the middle of the project, and several very good east-west arterial routes, not to mention both I-44 and I-70).  I-64 is really the only good interstate level route, and there is no good point to split I-44 to work on it as we did the I-64 project.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • I have passed that along to our maintenance team to see if they can go out there and touch up the striping. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Heading east from Clayton Rd. at Skinker onto the EB I-64 ramp in the right lane, on several occasions recently I've almost been hit because people in the left lane lose track of where they are supposed to be. This is rather dangerous, and stripe guidelines are desperately needed here.
  • Currently where needed there are dashed lines striped across the intersection where delineation of vehicle paths are warranted. Caution must be exercised not to over-stripe vehicle paths as the result would be counterproductive. We will verify the existing striping conditions and refresh as needed.
    Sorry to hear that. Would think that the volume of traffic heading south on 141 in the afternoon would have been known prior to planning all this. No one goes EB on 44 from 141 south in the afternoon rush hour .....no one. Thanks for your response, just a bit frustrated as the fix does not appear to help southbound 141 rush hour traffic.
  • About one third of the evening rush traffic heading southbound is heading to eastbound I-44.  With the last piece opened on Friday (which pulls a lot of the traffic that was crossing over the southbound traffic from the westbound ramp to the new ramp on the west side of 141,) we can give a lot more signal time to the traffic heading southbound.  You should start to see improvements in the flow of southbound traffic in the evening, especially as people continue to learn the new traffic patterns at the interchange. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • You are very welcome.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • About the 141/44 interchange, if I recall correctly there is a sign on southbound 141 in Valley Park, just past the train trestle, indicating the right lane for westbound 44 but it does not indicate that it is now an exit only lane. The problem I see with that bottleneck is the people in the right lane jockeying to go up as far as possible and then get in the "middle" lane to continue southbound on 141. I think if that sign is revised with an Exit Only yellow banner it should prevent some confusion later across the Meramec bridge.
  • Unfortunately, you have a right turn for Elam right before the flyover ramp.  So, until you pass Elam, that isn't, technically, an exit only ramp.  Since traffic should start flowing a bit better southbound, you should see less people trying to race up the ramp lane and jockeying over (or it shouldn't be as big an impact).  We will continue to monitor the traffic flow and make adjustments.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
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