Missouri Department of Transportation

An artist's rendition of what a solar roadway could look like.
Solar Roadways | http://bit.ly/29OOZKM

The year is 2091 and you have a business trip to make to Kansas City. You wake up in the morning, ask the speaker in your wall for a car to be brought to your door to take you there. A car arrives, no driver, naturally, and you set up camp in the back seat with your laptop to prepare for a big meeting. The car, dodging traffic reported along Forest Park Parkway, hops onto I-70 and into a line of other driver-less cars along a solar-paneled highway.

Provided by Solar Roadways

Roads paved with solar panels may sound futuristic, but people soon will walk and maybe even drive on them in Missouri. 

The Missouri Department of Transportation recently announced plans to build a walkway with solar panels at the historic Route 66 welcome center in Conway, Mo., which is about 180 miles southwest of St. Louis. Electricity generated from the panels would power the welcome center.  The pilot project will examine how feasible it is to use the technology before the department considers putting it on more roads and sidewalks.

traffic barriers
Flickr | Alexander Svensson

Drivers should avoid Interstate-44 near the Midtown area of city of St. Louis this weekend. All lanes of the interstate between Vandeventer and Jefferson avenues will be closed while the overpass at Grand Boulevard is demolished.

Lane closures will begin 8 p.m. Friday. Transportation officials say drivers should use I-70, I-64 or I-55, instead, to travel through the city.

A photo of the Boone Bridge taken from the St. Charles County side of the Missouri River.
Missouri Department of Transportation St. Charles County camera

Updated March 2 with rescheduled demolition — The Missouri Department of Transportation plans to close the section of Interstate 64 leading up to and crossing the Missouri River between St. Charles and St. Louis counties for at least an hour on Monday, March 7. 

Weather permitting, the department will finish demolishing the 1930's era Boone Bridge. The bridge is no longer needed now that traffic has been moved to the adjacent 1980's era bridge and the new Boone Bridge. 

Southbound lanes of US 67 across the Clark Bridge are expected to remain closed for at least the first part of the work week.
Flickr | Jon K.

Updated Monday, Jan. 4 at 3:00  p.m. with information about sewer plants

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District says one of its flood-damaged water treatment plants should be fully functional by next week.

The Grand Glaize plant in Valley Park went offline Christmas Eve after the Meramec River breached a sandbag levee MSD built around the facility. The utility said Monday that the plant was pumping water again, and partial wastewater treatment would resume by the end of this week. The plant is expected to be back at full capacity next week.

 The utility says it does not know when it will be able to return a second wastewater treatment plant in Fenton to service. That means six million gallons of untreated sewage will continue to flow into the Meramec. The facility was under six feet of water.

Martin Luther King Bridge connects Illinois and downtown St. Louis. It was built in 1951.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Traffic over the Mississippi River to and from downtown St. Louis is being redirected again. The Martin Luther King Bridge closes for repairs Monday at 9 a.m. It will remain closed for at least four months.

The Illinois Department of Transportation originally planned to close MLK Bridge on July 6, but held off until the Missouri Department of Transportation reopened all lanes of the Poplar Street Bridge.

A major closure off the Poplar Street Bridge will affect downtown traffic.
Courtesy Missouri Department of Transportation

Some drivers headed into downtown St. Louis are in for a complicated route beginning this weekend.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is closing the westbound Poplar Street Bridge ramp leading to Interstate 55/44 south for a month, starting Thursday night.

Found to be in critical shape, MoDOT closed the I-44 Outer Road bridge over the Gasconade River in Laclede County back in December due to deterioration.
Courtesy Missouri Department of Transportation

Thirty-eight bridges in the greater St. Louis area are just "a step or two from being closed" due to deterioration, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

They are among the nearly 600 bridges statewide that officials say are currently rated in poor to serious condition, but aren't funded in the state's five-year plan for improvements. 

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will deliver the annual State of the State address on Wednesday night. Ahead of the speech, “St. Louis on the Air” asked its listeners to weigh in on what they want to hear from the governor.

Following are some of the responses we received. They have been edited for length and clarity.

Pam E.: I want to see Medicaid expanded, legalization of marijuana and improved infrastructure.

Construction around the Poplar Street Bridge will lead to closures on much of the interstates downtown this weekend. MoDOT suggests using detours.
Courtesy MoDOT

The Missouri Department of Transportation is urging drivers to avoid the area around the Poplar Street Bridge this weekend because portions of Interstates 44 and 55 will be closed downtown.

From Friday at 8 p.m. to Monday at 5 a.m., lanes in both directions will be closed from 7th and Park to the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. One ramp off eastbound I-44 near the Old Cathedral downtown will stay closed until January 21. 

(via Flickr/KOMUnews)

Drivers traveling the I-70 corridor in Missouri could experience stop and go traffic by the year 2030 if the interstate is not expanded. That’s according to a new Missouri Department of Transportation report exploring the possibility of putting tolls on the interstate.

The completed bottom component of the "park over the highway."
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Deanna Venker of the Missouri Department of Transportation is accustomed to building bridges for cars and trucks.

But MoDOT’s area engineer for the city of St. Louis said constructing the so-called “park over the highway” in front of the Gateway Arch is a bit out of the ordinary.

“This is a very different bridge in the sense that there’s not going to be any cars or trucks going over,” Venker said. “It’s strictly a park over the highway for pedestrians and bicyclists that are coming into the park area.”

One of the new signs that can be found on taxi stands throughout Downtown St. Louis.
Rebecca Smith/St. Louis Public Radio

Throughout downtown St. Louis, new signs can be found on the sidewalks and taxi stands.

The signs are part of a public awareness campaign that was launched Wednesday by the Missouri Department of Public Safety and the St. Louis Taxi Commission that aims to reduce the number of drunken driving accidents.

Leanna Depue, the director of Highway Safety for MoDOT, said that in 2013, 223 people were killed and 745 seriously injured in substance-related crashes.

MoDOT

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.

(via Flickr/KOMUnews)

During its recently completed session, the Missouri General Assembly passed a measure that would let voters decide whether to increase the state sales tax to pay for improvements to highways and for other transportation needs. This action is interesting for a couple of reasons.

First is the underlying assumption that voters are in fact capable of making an informed decision about how to generate revenue for the state.

Kristi Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

After four years under construction and more than a decade of planning, the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge will open for traffic Sunday, February 9. And when the bridge opens, so does another option for drivers making the commute across the Mississippi.

“What we anticipate is about 20 percent of the traffic coming off Poplar Street, about 50 percent coming off MLK/Eads,” Randy Hitt of the Missouri Department of Transportation said.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Proponents of a transportation sales tax were dealt a big blow last year when a legislative effort died at the last minute. But that doesn’t mean they’re giving up on putting a 1-cent sales tax increase before voters.   

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A new railroad bridge over the Osage River between St. Louis and Jefferson City is now open for both passenger and freight train use.

The new bridge cost $28 million, with most of the funds coming from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo says the project came in under budget and ahead of schedule.

MoDot

The head of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has unveiled a 20-year plan that's based on more than 12,000 suggestions from the public.

However, the state currently cannot afford to implement it.

MoDOT Director Dave Nichols says it would cost more than $70 Billion to fund all the suggestions they've received from Missouri residents, and that his agency is currently estimated to only have $17 billion available over the next 20 years.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Scared of heights? Luckily for us, and for you, our Rachel Lippmann isn't.

On Thursday, Rachel got a tour up (and inside) the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, which will carry Interstate 70 across the Mississippi River.

Enjoy the views - without any of the risk. 

(Erin Williams/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 3:43 p.m. and 3:53 p.m.

Three and a half years after the project began, the structural work is done on the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River.

Members of Ironworkers Local 396 maneuvered the 30,000-pound steel girder into place on Friday, officially connecting the $667 million bridge that will carry Interstate 70 over the river.

Watch its last few movements:

KOMUnews / Flickr

State transportation officials will meet in Jefferson City later this week to approve road projects for the next four years, and as it has for several years, funding available for the St. Louis region continues to shrink.

Transportation officials met with residents and property owners in Normandy Thursday about a new project that will reduce vehicle traffic and increase pedestrian and bicycle use on Natural Bridge Road.

(photos from the Missouri Department of Transportation)

The director of the Missouri Department of Transportation has abruptly stepped down.

Kevin Keith submitted his resignation to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission today. He'll take a medical leave of absence and retire on July 1.

The Missouri Department of Transportation will soon begin what they’re calling “significant” improvements to state roads in the St. Louis metro area.

MoDOT’s St. Louis District Engineer Ed Hassinger says the extensive improvements to the interstate system will help relieve some of the problem areas during morning and evening commutes.

The complete list of projects includes:

MoDOT

The Missouri Department of Transportation's budget for capital improvement will drop by nearly half in 2013.

In each of the last five years, MoDOT has had close to $1.3 billion to spend statewide on highway project. This year, that number will be down to $700 million for the entire state.

MoDOT District Engineer Ed Hassinger says that's going to result in a lot of "Band-aids."

(via Flickr/Ziggy_Mo)

Janet Saidi contributed reporting from Columbia, Mo.

The number of people killed on Missouri roads is expected to be up slightly in 2012 compared with 2011.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says:

Rethinking St. Louis Highways

Nov 29, 2012
Congress for New Urbanism

The creation of the new I-70 bridge over the Mississippi just north of downtown has created renewed interest in a plan to remove the part of I-70 that currently runs through downtown.

John Norquist is the President of the Congress for New Urbanism, where he champions a growing movement encouraging cities to tear down their freeways. 

Norquist gave a talk at Washington University entitled “Rethinking Our Streets: The Value of Flexible Street Design”

Beginning at 8 p.m. this evening, three eastbound lanes on the Blanchette Bridge will be closed.

The lanes will be re-opened by 5 a.m. on Sunday. At least two eastbound lanes will stay open to traffic throughout the weekend.

Linda Wilson Horn with the Missouri Department of Transportation says they do expect backups as motorists coming from St. Charles County try to get across the bridge.

“We are restriping the bridge to get ready for what will be a major impact starting two weekends from now," said Wilson Horn.

HDR Engineering

Illinois and Missouri officials appear to agree on a series of phased upgrades to the Poplar Street Bridge.

The plan would add a third eastbound I-64 lane over the bridge, as well as provide a two-lane onramp from northbound I-55.

MoDOT District Engineer Ed Hassinger says the $80 million in upgrades will go a long way toward smoothing the flow of traffic over the Mississippi.   

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