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, May 29.

    For the city - SB Morganford at Beck - one of the signal heads (for Beck), on the south side of the intersection, is turned facing Morganford, which is creating confusion.
    Thanks for the information - we'll get our crews on it!
  • The double yellow center stripe on WB Big Bend, on the bridge over I-44 in Webster Groves, needs to be restriped - people are starting to use the left lane, again.
  • Thanks -- I have asked our maintenance team to take a look at it.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Mr. Gates,

    Referring to my post from last week, II drove Gravois Avenue in the city over the weekend and I did not see any of the new signals with an improper red ball instead of a left arrow. So either I was mistaken or the contractor fixed the light. I did observe at a new signal, Gravois and Utah does have a red ball instead of a red arrow for sw bound Gravois.

    One more comment. I do not like the bike lane from Christy to Chippewa. We got stopped at a signal at Meramec and Gravois and there was a long line of cars waiting until Gravois received a green light. The line was so long that some of us didn't make it through the next ne bound signal at Chippewa. If there were still four lanes of traffic, we would've sailed through the light at Chippewa.

    I do not understand removing lanes of traffic on a vital city street for the handful of cyclists to have a dedicated bike lane. Especially when cyclists can legally use traffic lanes, the same as automobiles.
  • I have asked our construction team to verify that the signal is correct.  As far as the road diet along Gravois, MoDOT worked extensively with the community along Gravois. Many of the residents and businesses along the stretch of Gravois in the city are concerned with speeding traffic (among other things).  Reducing the traffic lanes in the areas where we did helped address some of those issues and helped make it safer for pedestrians to cross Gravois, since they don't have to cross as many lanes.  The extra space from the road diet was able to be used to help the cyclists who use that stretch of roadway;  although they could take the lane, many of them expressed concern about not feeling safe due to the high rates of speed.  The road diet was intended to help calm the flow of traffic through a residential area and to improve traffic movement at the intersections.  Adding the bike lane allowed the department to help bettermeet the traffic needs of all the Gravois road users.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • What is the work that is being done @ 70 and Hwy K in O’Fallon
  • The intent of the project is to help improve the flow of traffic around the I-70 and Route K interchange.  You can see more here:

    City of O'Fallon, MO | I-70 Traffic Flow Improvements Project

    Located west of St. Louis, “Best Places to Live” recipient O’Fallon (MO) is rich in history, while offering the latest in housing, business, retail and leisure.
    Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Why is the I-270 ramp closure at Watson only marked on Watson? I live on Geyer and would know nothing about it if I hadn't gone to Crestwood this week. Meanwhile there is an informational sign on the ramp that could be conveying this information and is instead flashing **.
    The westbound Watson Road bridge (that individuals use to get to westbound I-44 and northbound and southbound I-270) closes this weekend to be removed and replaced.  It will reopen by November.  The sign on the ramp looks like it may have malfunctioned.  I'll ask the construction team to check it to make sure it is working.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT communications
  • Hi, There is some confusion as to what portion of I-44 (near 270) will be closed this coming weekend. Can you clarify? Is it the portion east of 270, west of 270, or both? Is any portion of 44 accessible from 270, or 270 from 44?
  • I-44 will be closed in both directions from I-270 to Geyer Road.   That is the section that is east of I-270.  You will be able to get to northbound and southbound I-270 from both eastbound and westbound I-44 (in the usual way).  You will be able to get from northbound and southbound I-270 to westbound I-44 in the usual way.  You will have to go through a detour to get from northbound and southbound I-270 to eastbound I-44, using the ramps that go to eastbound Watson Road. You will then turn onto Lindbergh to get back onto eastbound I-44.
    Andrew Gates, MoDOT communications
  • For MODOT. Can you please ask you signals people to look at the signal at 109 and W 5th Street in Eureka, to change the solid red left turns to the flashing yellow arrows for North and South bound 109. it is frustrating to sit at the solid red left lane, when there is no traffic coming the other direction.
  • There are too many lanes to cross to safely make those signals flashing yellow arrows.  MoDOT only puts flashing yellow arrows on signals where drivers cross two lanes or fewer.  You have four lanes (two through, one left and one right) on northbound Route 109 and three through (one that turns into a left) on southbound Route 109.  If you have a specific time when you see this issue, I can ask the signal team to see if they can make any tweaks to the timing.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Can the stop bar for NB Grant Rd be moved further north at Big Bend? There is limited visibility of EB Big Bend, and zero visibility of WB Big Bend, if you actually stop at the stop bar. This creates conflict with WB drivers turning left, not knowing where NB vehicles are going to stop.
  • I have forwarded your concerns/request to our traffic studies group for consideration. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • What is the chances Hwy 61 in St. Charles County gets another overpass in the near future? The one at Peine is great, but more is needed. Maybe one at Dietrich road by Indian Camp creek?
  • At this time, there is no funding identified for any further overpasses on Route 61 in St. Charles County.  However, last month, Wentzville, St. Charles County and MoDOT participated in a public meeting to get input from residents and commuters on possible conceptual improvements that are yet unfunded along the corridor.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • I do not wish to disagree with you but I routinely travel many state roads that have the same configuration as 109 and west 5th that currently do utilize the flashing left arrow.
    I have seen numerous signalized locations along Olive and Manchester that have similar configuration of 2 through and one left and one right turn lanes that have the flashing arrow.
    All I am asking is for you to ask you signals people review the location for the same consideration.
  • I'll share your thoughts with the signal team.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Thank you for taking the time for these weekly chats. Not sure if this is a streets or railroad question, but the RR crossing at Rock Hill Road a few steps North of Lockwood always floods/backs up water during heavy storms. So much so that it is almost unpassable by smaller vehicles, but we don’t know that until we’re right there. Are there any plans to alleviate the water collection there? (for reference, the metro bus turnaround is just to the right)
  • The railroad itself is responsible for crossing maintenance/improvements. I'll forward your report to the appropriate RR authorities. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • What is going on with the construction on I-70 EB near Lucas and Hunt? Is it still in progress? Almost done?
  • For the most part, work at I-70 and Lucas and Hunt is complete. The remaining work shouldn't require lane closures.  Of course, we do have the I-70 resurfacing work on various lanes between Springdale and Hanley.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • The new roundabout at Hwy P/Peine/Hwy 61 is in desperate need of landscaping. Cutting the grass would be a good start. Do you know what the plans are for this? who is responsible for the roundabout being ascetically pleasing?
  • We mow on our right of way several times during the summer to ensure that the drivers can see on-coming traffic.  MoDOT is not able to pay for aesthetic work -- usually there is an agreement with a municipality or organization to put in the landscaping (beyond grass) and then maintain it.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Hi and thanks again for doing these chats. I inquired a few weeks ago about the traffic light at North & South and Blackberry Ave, and my request was forwarded on to the appropriate department. However, the status of the traffic light has not changed. The traffic light used to be on a sensor so that when a car would travel east/west on Blackberry it would trigger the traffic light to change. The sensor has not been operational for at least a month or two and the light constantly cycles through, regardless of traffic flow. The green light for North & South stays green for only 10 to 15 seconds. Is it possible for this light to be operational on the sensor as it once was? Or is the current operation the new normal? Thanks!!
  • A traffic "loop" - a pavement imbedded traffic sensor - may be damaged at this intersection. I'm double-checking with our signals group on this issue. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • Can you explain the decision to work on potholes on Brentwood, Hanley/Laclede and Big Bend all at the same time? This has made commuting from Clayton to I-44 much more difficult than normal, and normal is already pretty tough. Also, when will these projects be finished?
  • The work on Hanley/Laclede Station (from Murdoch to Newport) and Big Bend (from Manchester to Delmar) is each actually a major improvement project that includes removal and replacement of deficient sidewalks and curbs, construction of wheelchair-accessible ramps and, ultimately, the removal and replacement of the roads' driving surfaces. The concurrent scheduling of these projects is less than ideal, and we understand your frustration. However, both roads were/are very much in need of the improvements now under way. Funding was available for both, and we moved forward with them. Laclede Station is scheduled for completion by this fall. Our Big Bend job, however, will extend through the summer/fall of '20. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • I have a mild complaint for both MoDOT and STL DOT regarding sidewalks. A new urgent care is being constructed at the intersection of Gravois and Mackenzie roads. Although I am thankful that all four sides of the new development are receiving a sidewalk, I wish that the sidewalks were being set back from the road itself by at least three feet to eliminate any potential motorist/pedestrian accidents. I do understand when sidewalks are being retrofitted into existing development that constraints may require the sidewalk to go on the former shoulder. But in this specific case, there was plenty of space to move the sidewalk away from the roads.

    A small thing, to be sure, but any additional setback adds to everyone's safety.
  • The sidewalks are being constructed by the developer along their project as a permit project.  MoDOT can require the developer to construct the sidewalks as a part of the agreement for permitted access to state-maintained roadways. They have to be constructed within MoDOT's right of way, and MoDOT will not buy any additional right of way around a developer's project for obvious reasons. If the developer chooses to build them within their right of way, then they are responsible for any necessary maintenance on those sidewalks.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Mr. Gates,

    I am following up with an observation about I-55 and Reavis Barracks Road. A couple of weeks ago I posted here about the signals. The MoDOT engineer called me and told me that the detection system had a complete detection failure and the controller was replaced. The detection is working fine now.

    At 12:29 PM, just one hour ago, I was headed eastbound and got stopped at the signal that controls the southbound exit and entrance ramps. Opposing traffic got a left-turn arrow and it allowed at least 12 vehicles to make a protected let. At least two of these vehicles were dump trucks or tractor trailers. I note the trucks only to emphasize that the opposing traffic got a lot of time for the left turn. Again, there were vehicles so the detection is working.

    My complaint centers on the fact that we motorists heading eastbound waited so long that the sister signal did not give us a left turn arrow. I'm not saying the detection isn't working. I'm calling out the programming of the tandem signals. It's not right for one side of the signals to be out of balance so that I typically can't count on getting a green turn arrow. Also, the east side of the highway gets a shorter duration of green arrow time, even when we have plenty of cars turning left.

    My trip took me to I-55 and Bayless Avenue where the tandem signals are better coordinated.

    Please ask the engineer to look at better balancing the coordination between the two signals. And to anticipate your question back to me, I see this seven days a week from 7:00 AM to about 7:00 PM.

    Thank you.
  • I've passed it along to have the signal team check it out. And thanks for the details! Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    General question about speed limits near school zones - some signs say the speed is 25 7am-430pm School Days. No longer having kids in school, how am I to know when a school day is? What determines when a school day is? What about summer school? Thanks!
    If there are vehicles around the school, I would consider it a school day. Generally speaking, I would make sure that you slow down and are paying attention any weekday around schools (except for the major holidays).  Taking a few extra minutes to get to your destination seems to be a small price to pay for keeping the roadways around schools safer.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    I appreciate the update about MoDOT and the sidewalks. It does make sense what you say. Do you know how far back the right of way is? I have seen old MSH (Missouri State Highway) monuments and sometimes the right of way is back a good ten feet. Maybe this is not the case with this development.
    Not without checking records.  Typically, we don't maintain a lot of right of way along the roadways, unless it is needed for sight distance or safety issues.  Right of way tends to be greater along higher speed (and limited access roadways) to ensure that there is safe space for a driver with an out of control vehicle to recover control.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
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