/Via Flickr/ KOMU news, Manu Bhandari

Some major road projects will keep the Missouri Department of Transportation and its contractors busy next year. But that all changes in 2012.

In 2011, crews will complete a new ramp connecting Interstate 270 and Page Avenue, says Bill Schnell, MoDOT's assistant district engineer in the St. Louis area. They'll also finish MoDOT's portion of the Route 141 extension in West County.

(Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Department of Transportation is urging driver to take it slow and be careful if they must travel this Christmas night.

  • The snow has started to fall in parts of the St. Louis metropolitan area. The Missouri Department of Transportation is monitoring, re-treating and plowing area roadways. MODOT is urging area motorists to stay off the roads during the winter storm. If you have to travel, MODOT advises drivers to give salt trucks and plows plenty of room.
(Flickr Creative Commons User conner395)
  • If you thought your neighborhood was like a skating rink this morning, you certainly were not alone. Freezing rain coated the St. Louis area with a nasty glaze of ice, causing trouble on the roads. It was worse in rural areas and the Missouri Department of Transportation continues to treat streets with salt, and, believe it or not, beet juice.
  • Sheriff's deputies in St. Clair county got some bad news on Tuesday - 13 of the 46 deputies will be losing their jobs effective Jan. 15. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that this comes after the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police union rejected a proposal by the county to increase their wages by 1 percent, a margin deemed too small by the union compared to similar-sized departments in Illinois, including Madison County the paper reports. Also in St. Clair county,  the East St. Louis city council is scheduled to vote on Friday on a proposal to layoff 26 city employees, including 19 police officers effective Jan. 1.  Laying off 19 police officers means that the police department will be left with 43 police officers -- the department had more than 70 officers just a few years ago. With a reduced force it will be tougher to police an area that, so far, has seen 25 homicides this year.
  • The U.S. Senate is debating President Obama's top foreign policy priority, a U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty. Democrats prevailed in a test vote Wednesday after Republicans threatened to delay work on the pact, known as the START treaty. Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill emphasized that the treaty with Russia is vital for the success of American troops fighting in Afghanistan:

"It is a very important treaty for our troops in Afghanistan because the supply lines for our troops in Afghanistan go through Russia and our relationship with Russia is very, very important, especially as you look at our plans on missile defense." - Claire McCaskill

The Missouri Department of Transportation is asking drivers to stay off the roads unless they have to drive, at least for now.

Freezing rain overnight turned area highways into skating rinks for early morning commutes. At one point on Wednesday night, sections of Interstates 70, 44 and 55 were closed in the St. Louis area because of accidents.

150 MoDOT trucks salted the roads overnight, says the agency's Kara Price.