Questions about traffic lights or highway construction? Ask the Road Crew, 1 p.m.

Questions about traffic lights or highway construction? Ask the Road Crew, 1 p.m.

Ask the experts from the Missouri Department of Transportation, St. Louis and St. Charles counties and St. Louis City your questions about highways and roads. The live chat starts at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

    A couple of weeks ago, a chatter asked: "Could you look at the traffic light at Gravois and Grant Road? Now that Grant’s Farm is closed for the season it isn’t as big a deal. Eastbound traffic on Gravois often backs up as cars want to turn left onto Grant Road. Virtually every time, there is no left turn arrow to start the cycle and making a left on the flashing arrow is difficult. Further, Grant’s Trail gets a passage light and there could be a left turn arrow since the Trail is in the east side of Grant Road."  I checked with our traffic team, who looked at the signal and determined that the eastbound left turn phase does have green time at the start of the cycle during weekdays, but during weekends from 9 AM to 8:30 PM the eastbound left turn lane will display a green arrow only if needed before serving the side street.  From what we have been able to see from the signal logs, this movement shows a green arrow all times of the day either at the beginning or end of the cycle.  This green arrow cannot be displayed while the pedestrian crossing for Route 30 is active because of the use of a flashing yellow arrow for the eastbound left turn lane.  When a flashing yellow arrow is operating, a green arrow can only be displayed during its scheduled operating signal phase.   Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communication.
    Where the work was being done on the bridge over 40 at Hwy N/Hwy 364, there's still a "two-way traffic" sign left over.
    Thanks, we have asked our construction team to check on that to verify if it was supposed to be removed. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    It looks like there's a sinkhole forming at the intersection of Union and Reavis Barracks Rd. It's in the southbound lanes of Union, on the south side of the intersection. There's already a large chunk of pavement missing.
    Thank you for the heads up. I've forwarded your report to our Operations group. David Wrone, St. Louis County's Department of Transportation
    In last week's Road Crew, a chat participant asked about the circular structure pictured above. (It's located in the 11000 block of Concord Village Avenue.) Our Operations group investigated, and determined that the object is a planter - and that it's located in St. Louis County's right-of-way. Our personnel will remove it within the month. David Wrone, St. Louis County's Department of Transportation
    Is MoDOT still responding to highway debris? It seems more and more the local police beat officers are having pick up and move debris out of roadways.
    We certainly do respond to picking up debris.  That is often done by our emergency response forces, but sometimes is done by maintenance.  Our emergency responses forces can sometimes be tied up responding to other, higher priority incidents on the roadway. If you see debris, please feel to contact our customer service team at 314-275-1500 or 1-888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636).  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • In last week's chat, a motorist asked: "In Crestwood, on Big Bend, given that the stacking lanes for turning left onto both I-44 and into Sam's Club, are short, busy and "over-subscribed", has any thought been given to moving the stop bar further west, to accommodate one more vehicle? Since it's a T intersection with no crosswalk, I don't see a need for it to be setback as far as it is, currently." OUR REPLY: Unfortunately, this isn't feasible. Relocating the stop bar further to the west would reduce the turn radius for larger vehicles turning left into this commercial development. David Wrone, St. Louis County's Department of Transportation
  • Follow up on Olive & Lindbergh interchange: last fall, your column suggested completion by the end of the year. Last week, that was moved to mid-year. What is the delay? The construction of the roadway is complete. The only thing left appears to be the installation of the traffic signals. Nothing has been done for the last month. While we wait for them, can the exit from northbound Lindbergh to eastbound Olive be opened, as that should just require a yield, not a signal. (This project is a stupid waste of taxpayer money.)
  • As we've stated before, that project is a permit project, so it isn't handled by MoDOT -- from what we are told by the organization overseeing the work, there was some redesign work needed to complete the project.  I can certainly share your observation on the exit lane with our team ensuring the project meets department standards to pass along.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Traveling south on Kingshighway, just before you get to Manchester Avenue there is a pothole or a sewer/utility grate that is not at grade level. If you hit it, it sounds like you've done major damage to your car. It could actually be more on Manchester than Kingshighway. It's in the middle lane, again while traveling south. Could you have someone look at it? It's dangerous. It made such a noise that I thought someone hit my car.
    I’ve noticed that whenever rocks fall along a ditch by a roadway, or a guardrail gets damaged in an accident, why does the highway department put traffic cones around it? The rocks and guardrail are far enough off the shoulder of the road that they aren’t a problem prior to falling or being damaged but now it seems like the highway department is bringing it to everyone’s attention. Why waste the time and money bringing this to our attention after the fact, especially the rocks as they’re usually 10-20 feet away from the road to begin with?
    As I understand, we put the cones there so that our forces can identify the area with ease.  That way, when we go to repair the guardrail, we are able to exactly see where the repair would be. With rocks breaking loose, we want to verify that the area where the rocks came from is still secure -- that needs to be completed by a more specialized team. That allows the appropriate team to find the exact area with the problem to address. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
    Thank for bringing this issue to my attention. Will have location inspected...Larry Tyler, City of St Louis Street & Traffic Liaison
    I have to agree with the condition of the Lindbergh and Olive interchange. There was no good reason to completely redo that. I've driven though it in rush hour everyday for the past ten years and have never seen any congestion. Unless the overpass itself was having problems but it seems to still be in place. Also if this was a permit project, who is paying for it?

    Here's the web page on the project: 39 North Agtech Innovation District (  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Question for St. Louis City- Are there any scheduled projects for repair of the roadway and resurfacing along 18th street from Market to the viaduct? The pavement is in very poor condition with very large pot holes. Additionally the entrance to the Union Station Parking lot along 18th is in major need of repair. Thank you!
    Upon completion of the new soccer stadium, right of ways in this area are scheduled to for paving..Larry Tyler, City of St Louis Street & Traffic Liaison
    I wish Eliot Davis would track down the idiots in the City of St. Louis Street department who put these wooden pallets in the bike lane on Chestnut Street. Ever wonder why cyclist don't use the bike lane? Think about what hitting one of those pallets might do to a tire, wheel, bike frame or cyclist. The pompous arrogant idiot responsible for putting the pallets there should be fired immediately. From a friend.
    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Will have this location inspected...Larry Tyler,  City of St Louis Street & Traffic Liaison
    For the city, four traffic signals on Chippewa Street that have detection that appears to not be working.

    Chippewa and Jamieson through movements and left arrows
    Chippewa and Creighton Drive/Value City Furniture side street detection and left turn arrows on Chippewa
    Chippewa at Watson/Bancroft detection appears to not work for Bancroft and left turn arrow onto Watson from eastbound Chippewa
    Chippewa and Lansdowne detection for Lansdowne appears to not work for Lansdowne. Additionally, it appears that a push button to cross Chippewa is stuck. This coincides with southbound Lansdowne traffic

    Thank you.
    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Will have these locations inspected and check pedestrian buttons...Larry Tyler,  City of St Louis Street & Traffic Liaison
    There are no safety barrels to protect drivers from serious damage from an accident with the concrete divider on the exit off-ramp from Forest Park Parkway (going west) onto Union Blvd (north). Will there be safety barrels put in place at this location?
  • David, thanks for your response to my question from last week about Big Bend. I don't agree with the answer, since larger vehicles are always able to stop short of the stop bar. I'm more concerned with the turning traffic backing up onto Big Bend, on a regular basis, both here and at I-44. As volumes have increased, there is a real need for either longer stacking lanes or double left turns (at all three traffic signals), yet no one, not MODOT, not County, Not Crestwood and not Kirkwood seem willing to tackle these legacy design problems. And this problem will only get worse, since the bridge reconstruction is showing reduced stacking on top of the rebuilt structure!
  • In reference to your comment about the Big Bend bridge, MoDOT is adding dual turn lanes from the interstate to Big Bend.  Adding the dual left  lanes from the interstate ramps to Big Bend will allow the department to shorten the amount of time needed to move traffic off the interstate. That means that there will be more time on Big Bend to move traffic both north and south on Big Bend, which should reduce the need for either longer (or double) turn lanes.  Traffic counts during rush periods are not high enough to make dual left turns practical. Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
  • Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Will have this location inspected...Larry Tyler,  City of St Louis Street & Traffic Liaison
    Is MoDot involved in the water main replacement on Ballas Rd or is Ballas a St. Louis County road? If so, what are plans to repave following completion?
    Ballas is a St. Louis County road. We have a major improvement/resurfacing project scheduled to begin this year on Ballas between Manchester and Dougherty Ferry. I'm not sure if the water company work is located entirely, or partially, within the parameters of that project. If it is, the disturbed pavement will be replaced as part of our project. However, if the water company's project is located outside our future project's limits, the utility company will be required to restore the pavement to its pre-water main installation condition. David Wrone, St. Louis County's Department of Transportation
  • Andrew, I appreciate your optimism about the dual left turn lanes coming to the I-44 off-ramps. We'll have to wait and see what actually happens, after the project is completed (I have some serious doubts). Unfortunately, that will be much like not adding a lane on I-64, in each direction, between I-170 and the Zoo, where we're now stuck with a bad situation, for several more decades, because the projections were incorrect (given 20/20 hindsight) and now, "we don't have any funding" to redo it"!
  • Thanks for sharing your additional thoughts.  Andrew Gates, MoDOT Communications
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