Missouri Department of Transportation | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Department of Transportation

Erin Achenbach I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome Greg Razer to the program for the first time.

Razer, a Democrat, represents a portion of Kansas City in the Missouri House. He was first elected to his post in 2016, winning a primary and general election with no opposition.

MODOT

Raising Missouri’s fuel tax leads off a list of recommendations released Tuesday by a joint House-Senate task force.

The 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force is recommending a 10 cent hike in the gas tax to 27 cents a gallon. It also wants to raise the diesel fuel tax to 29 cents a gallon. Both the gas and diesel taxes have been set at 17 cents for roughly two decades.

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

Updated Nov. 5, 2017 with a statement from Solar Roadways - The Idaho vendor that planned to work with the Missouri Department of Transportation on a solar road initiative is disappointed the pilot project did not work out. In an email, Scott Brusaw with Solar Roadways said it was a complicated contract.

Franklin County Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Franklin County Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies on the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast.

Griesheimer has served as Franklin County’s top elected official since 2011. Before that, the Republican served for 18 years in the Missouri General Assembly.

A traffic stop by the Missouri State Police, June 2016.
Missouri Department of Transportation

Law enforcement agencies across Missouri that use DWI checkpoints to catch drunk drivers won’t be able to use federal money to pay for them starting July 1. That's when the new fiscal year gets underway.

The Missouri Dept. of Transportation handles the state’s allotment of National Highway Safety Act money from Washington, and this year the Republican majority in the legislature chose to only allow one dollar to be used for checkpoints. It’s tucked into a budget bill that Gov. Eric Greitens has yet to sign.

Ameren Missouri employees work in the utility's emergency operations center Saturday, January 14, 2017.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis region went into high alert Thursday ahead of forecasted ice storms.

Many schools and government offices were closed Friday, and grocery stores shut down in the early evening hours.

But in the end, the ice storm was less dangerous and disruptive than expected.

File photo

Patrick McKenna has begun his second year as director of the Missouri Department of Transportation, and he’s hoping for more understanding and results from Missouri lawmakers and Gov.-elect Eric Greitens.

Many of last year’s proposals to find more money for transportation went nowhere, including a bill to raise the state’s fuel tax and a ballot measure to raise cigarette taxes.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin sat down with McKenna to talk about why Missouri leaders and citizens can’t seem to agree on how to fund transportation.

Gov. Jay Nixon announces $57 million in temporary budget cuts one day after the legislature overrode vetoes of two tax break bills.
Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri's current state budget is taking another hit.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday that he's withholding $57.2 million from several state agencies and programs after lawmakers on Wednesday overrode vetoes he made on two tax breaks.

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.

Second Boone Bridge demolition rescheduled for Monday

Mar 2, 2016
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. 

Flood updates and the outlook for commuters

Jan 3, 2016
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 closes Monday for repairs

Jul 19, 2015
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. 

MoDOT Report Explores Adding Tolls To I-70

Dec 31, 2014
(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.

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