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MoDOT Reopens I-44/I-55 Downtown As Ramp Removal Completed
MoDOT closed much I-44/I-55 to remove ramp from downtown to the eastbound I-64 Poplar Street Bridge. Graphic courtesy MoDOT
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), January 18, 2015 - The Missouri Department of Transportation and its contractor, Millstone Weber Inc., reopened Interstate 44/I-55 downtown on Sunday morning after crews completed removing a ramp.
Crews removed the ramp from the depressed lanes to the eastbound PSB. The ramp to Walnut remains closed, but will reopen by Tuesday, January 20.
The ramp from downtown to the eastbound I-64 Poplar Street Bridge is being removed permanently to make room for the new dual-lane ramp from the westbound Poplar Street Bridge to southbound I-55. That new dual-lane ramp is part of the improvements to the Poplar Street Bridge connections to I-55 and I-44.
Drivers who used that ramp can access eastbound I-64 from the 6th Street ramp, use the MLK or the Eads, or use the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.
Eastbound I-64 through downtown and to the Poplar Street Bridge will remain open in both directions.
MoDOT Unveils Proposed Road and Bridge Plan
JEFFERSON CITY, MO, (SLFP.com), January 14, 2015 - The Missouri Department of Transportation outlined its plan for taking care of roads and bridges with a severely reduced construction budget.
"Missouri's 325 System" calls for MoDOT to focus its limited resources on approximately 8,000 miles of Missouri's 34,000-mile state highway system. The 8,000 miles make up the state's primary roads and are the highways that connect cities across the state.
The department will use its annual construction budget - which is expected to drop to $325 million in 2017 - to keep these primary roads in the good condition they are in today with maintenance and rehabilitation work such as overlays and bridge replacements. Enhancements, though, such as interchange improvements or road widening, will not be possible.
The remaining miles of roads and bridges will make up the state's supplementary system and will receive only limited routine maintenance. That means MoDOT crews will do the best they can to maintain roads and bridges on the supplemental system with internal resources. Work will include filling potholes, patching pavement and flushing and sealing bridge decks. With only limited routine maintenance, however, these roads will deteriorate.
"We need at least $485 million to maintain roads and bridges in the condition they are today, so facing a $325 million budget means making some tough choices," MoDOT Director Dave Nichols said in a release. "In addition, Missouri won't be able to match federal funds in 2017, which provides a $4 to $1 investment. That revenue will be lost to other states.
"State and federal fuel taxes provide the bulk of revenue for transportation in Missouri, but that funding source is no longer adequate," Nichols said. "That's because cars have become more fuel efficient; the fuel tax rate has not increased in almost 20 years, while the cost of doing business continues to rise; and inflation has decreased today;s purchasing power by more than 50 percent."
MoDOT won't be able to maintain in good condition at a $325 million spending level. These urban roads don't connect the state's system of roads and bridges, but rather fill a more local transportation need. Still, they carry high traffic volumes - anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 vehicles per day.
Examples include Lindbergh Boulevard in St. Louis; Blue Parkway in Kansas City; Glenstone Avenue in Springfield; Stadium Boulevard in Columbia; Route 179 in Jefferson City; Rangeline Road in Joplin; Belt Highway in St. Joseph; and William Street in Cape Girardeau.
Nichols said MoDOT has done all it can to put as much money as possible toward roads and bridges.
"We've reduced staff, facilities and equipment and directed the savings to roads and bridges," Nichols said. "Without additional funding, though, we're now faced with having to reduce services as well."
Gateway Guide Offers Live Views of St. Louis Traffic
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - Does your daily commute catch you by surprise? Is it smooth sailing or are there crashes and other incidents on your path home that will cause you delays? Check out MoDOT's new and improved Gatewayguide.com website for live traffic information and alerts before you leave for work or home.
MoDOT's new GatewayGuide.com website shows nearly 300 live camera views updating every couple of seconds, displays real-time information on incidents and work zones with lane closures and is mobile friendly for your smart phone or other cellular device.
"You can sign up for personalized My STL Traffic alerts specific to the highway you use at the times you need it each day," said MoDOT Assistant District Engineer Tom Blair. "These alerts can be sent to you by text or email to the device you choose and will inform you of crashes or other lane closures. Our goal is to keep traffic moving. The better informed you are of current road conditions, the better choices you can make for a quick, safe trip."
The new website provides a tour of camera views from one end of an interstate to the other. It also shows a live Twitter feed from MoDOT's @StLouisTraffic. Check out the new website at www.gatewayguide.com.
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