What is the problem with Interstate 55 in the area of the Route M Interchange in Jefferson County?
Interstate 55 in this area narrows from an eight lane ( four lanes in each direction) to a four lane facility. There are currently two lanes ending on Interstate 55 southbound at the Route M interchange and heavy congestion on Interstate 55 in the evening. Other issues in this area are: the weigh scale which is located close to the Route M interchange , congestion on Route M and Northbound Interstate 55 and southbound Route M entrance ramp onto Interstate 55.
Interstate 55 in this area currently has a high crash rate due to: congestion, lane reduction, design of the existing Route M interchange, and the distance to a nearby weigh station to Route M.
With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Interstate 55 received funding to widen Interstate 55 between Route M and Route Z. Interstate 55 is an eight lane facility in Jefferson County from the Meramec River to Route M. At Route M, the Interstate reduces to a four lane facility. This abrupt reduction of lanes has caused safety and congestion issues. The proposed solution is to extend a through lane northbound and southbound on Interstate 55 between Route M and Route Z. This improvement would provide a transition from a eight lane facility to a six lane facility to a four lane facility. Long range plans for the interstate are to continue the six lane roadway to Highway 67 as funds become available.
The approximate cost of the extension of Interstate 55 to a six lane facility from Route M to Route Z is $15-$20 Million.
What would this project cost and what does the project do?
The project total cost is estimated at $15 Million. This work would widen Interstate 55 between Route M and Route Z. It also replaces the two bridges on Interstate 55 over Route M and Glaize Creek.
Other improvements that will constructed in the area:
I-55 SOUTHBOUND IMPROVEMENTS AT ROUTE M.
This project will spend $5.6 Million by late 2010 making the following improvements:
- Route M to southbound Interstate 55 loop ramp correction. Currently the loop ramp to access Interstate 55 southbound from Route M has a tight radius that results in vehicles entering the Interstate at speeds of approximately 15 mph. The Interstate speed is 70 mph in this area and the interaction of the slow moving vehicles merging with the high speed interstate vehicles is causing safety and congestion issues. The proposed solution is to install a slip ramp from Metropolitan onto Interstate 55 Southbound. This slip ramp would allow vehicles to accelerate and merge with the Interstate traffic at a much higher speed and ease the congestion issue in this area. This part of the project would cost approximately $3 Million.
- Barnhart weigh scale relocation. The weigh scale is located on Interstate 55 southbound just south of the Route M interchange. The interaction of trucks entering and leaving the station, with the Route M interchange and the lane reductions on the Interstate have caused a congestion and safety issue for Southbound Interstate 55. The proposed solution is to relocate the weigh scale south of Highway 67. This new location has a better grade and will allow trucks to enter and exit the interstate safer and with less disruption to the Interstate traffic. This part of the project would cost approximately $2 Million.
I-55 NORTHBOUND IMPROVEMENTS AT ROUTE M
This project will spend $12 Million by early 2012 making the following improvements:
- Interstate 55 Northbound to Route M Eastbound Improvements. Currently, Interstate 55 northbound accesses Route M eastbound via a loop ramp and traffic signal. The signalized intersection will be removed and northbound Interstate 55 drivers will access Route M via a new ramp. This ramp will access Route M eastbound directly and assist in reducing congestion in this area.
- Route M eastbound to Interstate 55 Northbound Improvements. The access from Route M onto Interstate 55 northbound experiences morning and evening delays. The proposed solution is to install a loop ramp from Route M eastbound to Interstate 55 northbound. This ramp will replace the existing signalized left turn and provide an unsignalized right turn. The elimination of a traffic signal will reduce the congestion for this movement.
Other projects near I-55 in Jefferson County:
US 61/67 BRIDGE REHABILITATION AT ROUTE M- Rehabilitation of the US 61/67 and Route M bridge over Glaize Creek in 2012.
I-55 RESURFACING FROM ROUTE Z TO JEFFERSON COUNTY LINE - Construction in late 2009-2010
SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS AT ROUTE M/ CATLIN - Additional signing and warning lights for signal at Catlin and Route M in early 2010.
Proposed improvement plan for I-55 and Route M Interchange (1 page, 5.71 mb)
Who Do I Contact For More Information?
Contact MoDOT Area Engineer Kristy Yates at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636) or e-mail Kristy.Yates@modot.mo.gov
Contact MoDOT Community Relations Specialist Jack Wang at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636) or e-mail Jack.Wang@modot.mo.gov