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Monday, December 15, 2008

The I-64 Flip

This weekend, crews flipped the construction closure on Interstate 64 through the heart of St. Louis city. Crews closed the eastern five miles of the interstate this weekend to construct the new I-64, while opening the western half of the project two weeks ahead of schedule.

To manage traffic during this flip, as drivers through the city are learning which routes are the best for their daily commutes, the Missouri Department of Transportation in conjunction with traffic experts from St. Louis County and St. Louis City, have been operating a command center to watch for trouble spots during the early part of the eastern closure.

Traffic flow on the first day was impacted a bit by icy weather that rolled through St. Louis just before the Monday morning rush period. Although traffic during the day was relatively light due to the weather, it moved along smoothly.

7 comments:

redbird said...

What is the status of the Delmar construction just east of Skinker? This has been going on for a long time and is now a huge bottleneck.

tomcori said...

1. what are the specifications, and testing for sound walls that are located so that they can be hit by cars and trucks?

2. an example of such sound walls is the 64/40 bridge over Warson and Clayton Roads.

3. is the any data of the results of collions and damage of the sound walls in 1. or 2.?

4. what physical testing was done to determine the strength of the sound walls in 1. and 2. before they were constructed?

5. what quality control was done to assure the safety of the sound walls in 1. and 2.?

tom cori

MODOT CR STL said...

Redbird --

Thanks for your question.

The Delmar construction is a city project. I checked with Todd Waeltermann, city director of streets. He said that the Delmar project should be completed and open in April 2009.

MODOT CR STL said...

Tomcori --

Thanks for your question.

We built those soundwalls on top of a crash safety barrier, which protects the soundwall if a vehicle crashes into it. These designs were tested to make sure that they are able to withstand the impact of a vehicle.

We use federal design standards that we follow for these crash safety barriers.

joelslot said...

Two days ago the City Street Department made Berthold Ave. in the 6600, 6500, 6400 blocks one way going east. They put up one way signs, do not enter signs, no left turn signs and traffic barriers to make this clear to the driving public, but dozens and dozens of cars an hour are flagrantly violating the law here and the police are not enforcing it.

The problem stems from the closing of Oakland at it's Highway 40 overpass. Five blocks east of there, by the Tamm Ave. overpass, Oakland is partially blocked off with barricades and signs saying Street Not Thru, Local Traffic only, but many people either can't read (what is the illiteracy rate in this country?) or simply disregard these signs. When they get to the overpass they find they can't proceed west so they make a U turn (I saw several tractor trailors trying to back out five blocks yesterday) and head back east. Many, when they get to the first street, Fairmount, make a right. A block up Fairmount they hit Berthold where it is plainly marked One Way, no right turn, so they can't head back west the way they were originally trying to travel. so instead of turning left and going back east they make an illegal right and head west up Berthold, a very narrow street, going the wrong way. Repeated calls to the police department produce no results and claims that they are too busy with other matters to enforce the law here in Dogtown.

That isn't the whole reason. Other cars are entering Berthold at other points and coming the wrong way, but that is a lot of it.

The larger problem is that MoDot, the City Street Department and the (state-controlled) police department are not operating on the same page and whoever is supposed to be coordinating this situation isn't doing so. None of the officials or agencies I have spoken to can point to someone who is actually in charge.

This quiet residential neighborhood where I have lived for 30 years is now inundated with all, or most, of the traffic from an interstate highway. Some of these cars have noisy mufflers, gun their engines, screach their brakes, blast their radios, throw trash out their windows and go racing up and down the side streets trying to find a way to beat the rush. This once peaceful neighborhood is now pandemonium and this seems like it will not abate for a year. We certainly couldn't sell our houses and move elsewhere so we are stuck with this situation unless government lives up to it's responsibilities to adequately coordinate the highway reconstruction. Enforcing the one-way on Berthold would be a good place to start. I find it extremely upsetting to look out my window and see fifty or more cars an hour flagrantly violating the law and law enforcement authorities looking the other way. I now live in a lawless zone. This is not what I pay my taxes for.

Joel Slotnikoff

MODOT CR STL said...

Joel --

Thanks for your patience, and the information. I can imagine the frustration you are currently feeling. We'll pass the information along to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. We have been closely working with the city, county and state police, as well as the city and county highway departments to help keep traffic flowing throughout the region during both the west half and now the east half closure of I-64.

MODOT CR STL said...

Joel -- you should have received an e-mail from the St. Louis police department. We have included most of the text of that e-mail for general information:

"My Name is Sergeant Ron Klein, he Deputy Commander of the St. Louis
Police Traffic Division. Mr. Waelterman has informed us of the situation on Berthold. We will be enforcing these violations.

It is the practice of the department to allow a grace period whenever radical changes are made to traffic situations. That grace period will expire on Monday
morning. In the meantime my Officers have been warning motorist forthese violations. Most violators are very upset by these new restrictions. The I-64 rebuild is something everyone has to tolerate.
Please be assured you will see us in your neighborhood. ...Please feel free to call (the St. Louis Police department) with any concerns you have."