In 2017, MoDOT, local city leaders and local law enforcement conducted a safety audit along the four-mile stretch of Natural Bridge in the city of St. Louis.
After the safety audit, MoDOT spoke with residents and business owners about their concerns and what their preferences might be for potential solutions.
From the information shared during the focus groups, the department crafted a proposal to improve safety along the corridor.
On January 22, 2020, the department shared their proposal with the public in a public meeting at The Best Place, 5796 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, St. Louis, Missouri, 63112. In addition, they shared information on-line for two weeks.
Construction on 11 signals along the corridor has started. Signals include pedestrian push buttons and pedestrian countdown timers.
Project to resurface Natural Bridge; includes potential proposed safety improvements.
What is the situation?
MoDOT has set aside roughly $6 million to make improvements along the Natural Bridge corridor within the city limits. The roadway will get a new driving surface, but the department, after discussing safety along the corridor with the community, is proposing to make several improvements to enhance safety.
How did we get here?
In 2017, MoDOT, local city leaders and local law enforcement conducted a safety audit along the four-mile stretch of Natural Bridge in the city of St. Louis. The audit found that the entire corridor, which carries roughly 16,000 vehicles daily, had a crash rate higher than the state average for similarly traveled roadways, with some sections of the road being significantly higher. These crashes were primarily due to three situations: improper lane use, speeding and pedestrians not crossing roadways at crosswalks.
MoDOT sat down and discussed the issues with the community through focus groups and several meetings; those people shared their concerns and their priorities for improving the safety of the roadway. The department created several public service announcements shared with local media and worked with the city public safety officials to implement a Travel Safe Zone along the corridor with increased enforcement efforts.
What is the current plan?
MoDOT currently has a project underway that will upgrade 11 signals along the corridor. These signals improvements include pedestrian push-buttons and pedestrian countdown timers. Signal timing will include allowing pedestrians to start a few seconds before traffic is given a green signal.
MoDOT proposes the following safety improvements, combined with the scheduled resurfacing project:
- A road diet between Euclid and Parnell/Salisbury.
- Roundabouts at Goodfellow, Vandeventer and the Salisbury and Parnell intersection
- Mid-block crosswalks with rapid flashing beacons in several areas along the corridor.
- Medians at various locations between Euclid and the Salisbury/Parnell intersection.
- Yellow reflective back plates around signals.
- Higher visibility crosswalk striping.
What are MoDOT’s responsibilities on Natural Bridge?
MoDOT has a maintenance agreement with the city of St. Louis for roads within the city limits. MoDOT is responsible for maintaining signals, signs, striping, sweeping and pavement maintenance on Natural Bridge. St. Louis City retains ownership and responsibility for everything else. For concerns beyond MoDOT’s responsibility, please contact the city of St. Louis citizens service bureau at 314-622-4800.
What is the impact of work?
The construction of the roundabouts will be staged, so certain traffic movements may be restricted or blocked off as the roundabouts are completed. The immediate impact of work between Euclid and Parnell/Salisbury will reduce the roadway from five lanes to three. The actual construction of medians and the remainder of the project should have a minimal additional impact on travel through the area.
What is the timeline for work?
Signal work is currently underway along the corridor. If these proposals proceed, work will begin later this summer and will be complete in late 2021.
Will this interfere with Metrolink expansion or NGA traffic?
Nothing that is being proposed will interfere with any potential expansions for Metrolink or for expected increases in traffic from the relocation of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.