ST. LOUIS – This week is Work Zone Awareness Week, and the Missouri Department of Transportation would like to remind drivers to slow down and pay attention as they travel through work zones in the greater St. Louis area,
The week is a nation-wide reminder of the potential dangers of driving through work zones. Although traffic levels are currently lighter than normal, department officials and local law enforcement are seeing a corresponding increase in speeds. In addition, much of the existing work will remain in place through the remainder of the year, after many of the stay-at-home restrictions have been lifted.
“Work zones can change rapidly from day to day, as crews work on the many construction projects needed to keep Missouri roadways operational for years to come. In addition, we have many maintenance teams out repairing potholes, picking up trash and many other tasks to keep our roads safe for travel, as well as movement of goods and supplies. We ask that drivers slow down and pay attention as they see our crews out there; move over if they can to give a little extra room, buckle up and put down cell phones and other distractions,” said MoDOT St. Louis District Engineer Tom Blair.
Last year, in the St. Louis region, drivers hit 17 MoDOT employees. So far this year, 10 MoDOT employees have been struck. All of those crashes have been into truck mounted attenuators – vehicles that protect MoDOT employees by helping catch and stop vehicles that may be heading into a work zone. Across the state, 18 Missourian died in crashes in work zones in 2019.
As a reminder, the department has several projects in the greater St. Louis area that have significant impacts on daily travel. These projects will have lane or roadway closures, often around the clock, and may have narrowed and shifted lanes.
MoDOT projects expected to have the biggest traffic impact to motorists in and around the St. Louis region this year are:
(Note: projects are listed by location and not by overall potential impact)
Interstate 44 construction
St. Louis City – I-44 bridge replacement at Jefferson. Drivers should expect significant traffic shifts during the project. No access to Jefferson from the ramp from northbound I-55 to westbound I-44 during the project. The ramp from Lafayette to westbound I-44 and the ramp from Jefferson to eastbound I-44 will be closed during the project. The ramp from eastbound I-44 to Jefferson is currently closed until early May. All the other ramps at Jefferson will close for 30 days for reconstruction. The roadway between Compton and I-55 will be resurfaced at the end of the project.
St. Louis County, Meramec River Bridge rebuild, including eastbound I-44/southbound I-270 bridge to Watson Road. Expect several traffic shifts, including moving eastbound traffic to the newly constructed eastbound bridge and westbound traffic to the new westbound bridge late in the year. The ramp from EB I-44 and southbound I-270 to eastbound Watson Road will be closed for three months after Memorial Day; during that time, the ramp from northbound I-270 to eastbound I-44 will be closed, but traffic will detour to Lindbergh.
Franklin County, I-44 resurfacing from the St. Louis County line to Route 30 and on Loop 44 from Neosho St. to Route 100. Work is currently underway. Expect off-peak daytime lane closures, starting in the spring and ending in late fall.
Interstate 55 construction
Interstate 55 from Route A to Route 67 – Adding southbound auxiliary lanes. Drivers can expect extended lane closures during construction, which begins in summer 2020 and will be completed in summer 2021.
Interstate 64 construction
St. Louis City, I-64 interchange improvements at 22nd Street. This will construct a full interchange between 21st Street and Jefferson in the city of St. Louis. Several ramps will be completely closed (five of which have already closed at the request of the city of St. Louis). Drivers can also expect two full weekend closures of I-64 during the project, although those dates have not yet been determined. Work will start later this year and will continue through 2022.
Interstate 70 construction
St. Charles County, Bridge rehabilitation at the I-70 Blanchette Bridge. During this construction project, drivers should expect delays crossing the I-70 Blanchette Bridge. Both the westbound and eastbound bridges will be reduced to three through lanes through November 2020. The ramp from Veterans Memorial Parkway to eastbound I-70 will be closed through November 2020. Motorists should consider using Route 370, Route 364 and Interstate 64/Route 40 as alternative routes. The project will continue into 2021, but only off-peak closures will occur in the eastbound direction only until late 2021.
Interstate 270 construction
St. Louis County, I-270 Roadway reconstruction. This section of I-270 North was constructed in the 1960s and the bridges need to be replaced. The updated, modern design will improve safety and traffic flow and includes interchange reconstruction, additional highway lanes, improved accessibility for pedestrians and bikes, and an updated outer road system. Drivers can anticipate traffic shifts, lane closures and other impacts during construction. Construction work has begun, with the closure of the ramp from eastbound I-270 to Washington Street/North Elizabeth Avenue to start construction on Pershall Road. It will remain closed for approximately 18 months.
State route construction
Route 100, Pavement improvement and sidewalk updates between Big Bend and Lindbergh. Work updates signals and drainage along the corridor, updates sidewalks to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. When the work is complete, the roadway is resurfaced. Starts in late 2020.
Route AB, Bridge replacement at Hibler Creek. After Memorial Day, crews will close Route AB at Hibler Creek for three months to replace the bridge over the creek.