Transportation officials are hoping a new pilot program will help cut down on the number of wrong-way accidents on Interstate-44 in St. Louis.
According to a press release from the Missouri Department of Transportation, there have been 25 crashes on I-44 caused by drivers headed in the wrong direction on the interstate in the last eight years.
This new pilot program involves the installation of solar-powered signs that will be equipped with a sensor that identifies cars moving in the wrong direction down an exit ramp. Once a car has been detected, the signs will begin to flash and will also alert local law enforcement.
Teresa Krenning, a Traffic Operations Engineer for MoDOT, said this program is in its very early stages, and MoDOT will be gathering data from the various sign locations over the next few years.
“So it would be a couple years down the road before we would have confidence in saying it was successful, and there are costs associated with these too," Krenning said. "It is hard to say if it would be something we would install everywhere, but it might be at a location that is experiencing issues.”
Krenning says fifteen signs, costing $100,000, will be installed at eight locations along I-44. These locations include: eastbound Lafayette, westbound Arsenal, Grand and Vandeventer, and east and westbound Hampton and Jefferson.
Instillation of the signs will be confined within the shoulder of the exit ramps, and is not expected to cause delays.
MoDOT will be testing the signs during both daylight and nighttime hours, and does not yet know the exact dates and times for testing. Krenning said the delays should be minimal as the tests should not take long to conduct.
The signs are scheduled to be installed and tested by the first week of November.