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, Oct. 2.

    MoDOT - Please reevaluate the raised median that you allowed to be built by CVS and the bank on the west side of Manchester Rd and Lindbergh Blvd. That raised median makes the already bad backup in the PM for the EB left, even worse. I understand you don't want to go against agreements made during the development process, but you could still keep an area of two-way left turn lane instead of a median protected exclusive left turn lane. There is also shoulder on the south side to the west that can be used to make the turn lane longer. This needs a hard look, not just a response from an engineer that is afraid to make the right change. BTW, the use of the stop line at the mid-block left is improper, and if anything you should let it fade. The left is a yielding movement.
     
    The left turn lane into the CVS site was part of the required improvements for that permit project.  We have made adjustments to the signal timing. We are looking at the possibility of providing a dual left from EB Manchester to NB Kirkwood during our Route 100 resurfacing project in that area -- sometime around 2021.  I will pass your observations along to our traffic team.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    The new Watson Road bridge at the I-44 interchange opened this past week. It is great that it opened ahead of schedule, but my question is why they did not improve how Watson, I-44, and I-270 come together? They are making significant changes on the other side of the interchange with the Meramec River bridge, but replacing the Watson bridge with another of the same size I feel was a missed opportunity to address traffic congestion on that side of the interchange, especially during the evening commute. I suspect some of the limitations with any design changes are probably related to the flyovers only being 1 lane, vs the 2 lane flyovers at the I-55/I-270 interchange.

    We are making some adjustments to how traffic flows between I-44 and I-270 as part of the project and some of the work at Watson will tie into that; however, funding often dictates exactly how much we can do at any given roadway.  Many of the improvements (pulling the traffic for Soccer Park off the interstate before the river and bringing in the traffic from northbound and southbound I-270 in past the Soccer Park exit should help with some of that interstate congestion.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications

    Does your team cover the Illinois side as well? If so, are there any plans to improve the intersection at I-255 & IL Route 3 in Columbia? During the evening commute, I-255 will back up to at least the Fish Lake Road overpass, sometimes even further to the JB Bridge. The backup is not related to traffic signals as there are none at this intersection. The only thing I can think of, beyond a pure issue of volume, is that drivers are blind getting off the interstate when they cross over the railroad, making them slow down and subsequently backing up onto the highway. This is dangerous for I-255 traffic that is not getting off at Route 3.
     
    Unfortunately, IDOT is not a part of our road crew chats.  You will need to chat with them about their work.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communciations
    I have seen several instances on this chat where people have complained about the lack of a pedestrian path on Watson Rd at the railroad overpass that is west of MacKenzie Road. If you sit there for any length of time you will see pedestrians trying to do their best to walk along there, in the road, without getting run over. There is room to restripe Watson to provide some shoulder that would be better than no shoulder at all. Prior to the 2007 overlay there was shoulder on the north side. All you have to do is pull up the March 2004 satellite image on Google Earth to see there was shoulder on the north side at one point. Please do not put this on the railroad or blame ADA.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  I've passed them along to our team for the area for their review, but often what might appear to be a simple solution isn't due to safety and other concerns.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Thanks for hosting these chats. I'm hoping when Manchester is repaved in Rock Hill the left turn lane that was put in for the development on the south side between McKinley and McKnight be converted to two way center turn lane. The current setup favors the development on the south side, albeit it larger, to the businesses on the north side and the residential street of N. Rock Hill Rd. I don't believe this should requiring grinding the old stripes to restripe, but if you have a blank slate, a center turn lane would be best.
    There are a lot of adjustments that are going in along the stretch of Manchester that gets worked on next year.  You can see the basic details here:
  • Where can I send the bill to pay for my gas wasted due to your ridiculously long project on Highway 44? You people have made an absolute mess of the highway and you really don’t seem to care. There is no sense of urgency. The attitude is “when it gets done, it gets done.” In the meantime, I see road rage on a daily basis and what should take me 30 minutes to get to work takes me almost an hour. Completely unacceptable.
  • We are working along I-44 to replace six bridges on westbound I-44 between Grand and Kingshighway, which need work to ensure that they remain safe and operational.  We understand that the work has impacts on driver commutes, but we also have to consider the impacts to the people who live along I-44 in the city.  We avoid working at night, unless it is absolutely necessary, because of the residents along that area.  When we are working in an urban environment, we have to balance a lot of variables and the needs of a lot of customers.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • With the new signals installed at Lindbergh and Litzsinger, traffic on NB Lindbergh has been backing up considerably during morning rush. Once past Litzsinger, there isn't much traffic at the lights at the library, Clayton Rd, or 40. Can you have the signal team check the timing?
  • That work is part of some development in that area.  Right now, crews are working on installing the pedestrian ramps and until the pushbuttons have been installed, the signals have to give the full amount of time for pedestrians in every cycle. We have been working with the team on that project to try to reduce the impact.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communciations
  • From commuter: could MODOT possibly talk to KIRKWOOD about having some police stationed in the area between Big Bend and 44 on Lindbergh during rush hour, and possibly stepping in to direct traffic when the HUGE backups happen, as has been happening almost nightly for the past several months. This is nightly between 5-6 pm or so.....for southbound Lindbergh.
     
    This should be easing a bit now that the bridge at Watson Road heading to I-270 and I-44 has reopened.  We were seeing pretty significant backups in both directions due to the increased level of detouring traffic.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Explain to me the reasoning behind the flyover of 141 for highway 44? The main issue, or at least one of the main issues I have, is going south bound on 141 from basically Big Bend towards 44 primarily during rush hour. I get that the point of the flyover is to help people get onto 44 East bound, but the amount of traffic that goes 44 east bound from southbound 141 at evening rush hour is very minimal. So with that happening, 141 southbound cars lose 1 lane to drive in and it clutters traffic all the way back to Big Bend due to the condensing of lanes. To get from Big Bend to 44 during the rush hour, takes a minimum of 10 minutes, usually more.
    Is there going to be anything that helps remedy this at all?
  • We have a very heavy flow of traffic in the morning from southbound Route 141 to I-44 -- almost a third to a half  of the traffic is heading that way in the morning rush.  We are making some adjustments to the rightmost lane -- instead of being solely for EB I-44, traffic will be able to go to either eastbound or westbound I-44.  That will be implemented shortly after the resurfacing work that is currently underway is complete.  The flyover ramp also provides some access to eastbound I-44 during flash flooding -- or if the Meramec River floods. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Northbound Berry Rd at Manchester Rd has had an aggravating pothole at the intersection ' s right (straight or right turn), lane for over three years. Due to the traffic at this spot it is amazing it has never been addressed nor rectified . Why? It is damaging to undercarriage of cars.
     
    I've sent this to our Operations group for action. David Wrone, St. Louis County
    When is the resurfacing of Big Bend between Forsyth and Manchester scheduled?

    We're improving Big Bend from Manchester north to Delmar - a total of three miles of roadway. Work began this spring on the $3.58 million project. Concurrent with our work, Missouri American Water - this summer - removed and replaced 10,000 feet of water main beneath Big Bend's southbound curb lane - a project resting largely within the parameters of our own job. The water company's work is complete. Our project's first phase of work consisted of the removal and replacement of deteriorated sidewalk panels and curb, and the construction of more than 100 wheelchair-accessible ramps throughout the limits of our project. Repaving of the southern end of the project (between Manchester and I-64/40) is expected to begin this fall. Although we're currently trying to expedite the repaving schedule to encompass the entirety of Big Bend from Manchester to Delmar by year's end, we're not sure if that will be possible. David Wrone, St. Louis County

  • The traffic signal is short cycling red and green at the intersection of Olive and Kingsland. Recently Missouri Water repaired a water main break there and it was repaved this week.
  • I've forwarded this to our signals group for investigation. David Wrone, St. Louis County
  • I contacted St. Louis City about two months ago about their participation in these chats, but haven't heard anything recently. I'll try again, and let participants know in future chats if they'll be answering questions. 
    In the mean time, I can pass along the website and phone number for the St. Louis Street Department: 314-647-3111.
     
    Beth O'Malley, bomalley@post-dispatch.com
  • This is undoubtedly old news, but apparently I've missed all of it. What's going on with all the I-44 roadwork around the Meramec River bridge?
  • We are working to replace the two I-44 bridges over the Meramec River just west of I-270. As a part of that, we are making some adjustments to the I-270/I-44 interchange to help it flow better, and are replacing the bridge from Watson Road to I-44/I-270 (which just reopened) and will replace the bridge over the ramp from I-44/I-270 to Watson Road next year. Crews are currently working on constructing the westbound bridge.  When it is finished, they will move eastbound traffic to that new bridge so they can demolish and rebuild the eastbound bridge. Then they will move traffic onto the new eastbound bridge, move westbound to the new westbound bridge and complete the remainder of the work around the interchange, including a new shared use path next to the westbound bridge.  Detials are here:
  • Any update on the drainage issues on I-70 just north of downtown? (water and mud running into the shoulder)
  • That should have been fixed.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Thank you for both your answer and for the link. I've signed on for emailed updates so I won't have to bother you again. :)
    You're welcome! Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • I drive I-64 every day from Mason into Clayton. I can’t believe how much trash is on the side of highway. It seems like it has been a long time since the shoulders have been cleaned. What’s the story?
  • We regularly clear shoulders and roadways.  With about 6,800 miles of shoulders in the greater St. Louis area, we typically are able to clean everything at least once per month.  I will share your concerns with the maintenance team.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • From the 44/55 East/North merge in downtown heading west out I-70 to the end of the express lanes (and a little beyond) has been jammed up every morning at about 7:30 am for the past few weeks. It opens up (sometimes) for a couple miles, but then stalls again a couple miles east of I-170. Any idea what is causing the delays or if the express lanes could be reversed to allow traffic to flow that direction in the mornings? Thank you.
  • It may be because there have been a number of ramp closures on the Illinois side pushing traffic around to the PSB  (or possibly the McKinley). At this point, we have no plans to change the direction of the express lanes.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • How are the 364 ramps at Gutermuth coming along? Any ETA?
  • This project is currently out for bid.  We expect construction to begin before the end of the year.
    I was really surprised a contractor was allowed to close a lane on NB Lindbergh just south of Litzsinger at 8am. Why was this lane closure allowed during the rush hour. It's not like it was in an off-peak direction. Hopefully, it was a rogue contractor and they have been given a talk to.
    I have passed this to our permit team to investigate.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Next week, Teresa Krenning, one of our traffic experts, will be filling in for me, as I will not be available. Andrew gates, MoDOT Communications
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