MoDOT

MoDOT Completing Western Terminus of I-270 North Project

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On Schedule for Dec 2023 Finish

By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

MoDOT is this month celebrating the near completion of the new and improved southbound Lindbergh Boulevard section of its 8.6-mile, $278 million Interstate 270 North Design-Build Project.

The entire project stretches along I-270 north from Lindbergh Boulevard on the west to Route 367 on the east.

MoDOT’s largest project in 10 years began in April 2020 and is on track to complete in December 2023, according to I-270 North Deputy Project Director Eric Kopinski. “We are nearing the finishing stages of the Lindbergh Boulevard interchange,” he said. “We still need to demo the existing bridge in mid-August, but we’re close.”

Replacing both highway bridges over I-270 at New Florissant Road and New Halls Ferry Road is another facet of the mega-project that crews are tackling. Extensive work is being performed to make the outer road system safer and more expedient for motorists. MoDOT is phasing the work to keep lanes open to through traffic. This portion of the project is expected to continue through Fall 2022.

Construction of new I-270 North bridge over New Florissant Road

“We’re completely rebuilding the outer road and adjusting ramp locations to make it safer for travelers,” Kopinski said, noting that a new bridge connecting Pershall Road to Dunn Road improves connectivity, allowing motorists driving along Old Halls Ferry; now drivers can use Pershall Road to cross over I-270 and continue along Dunn Road.

MoDOT Communications Coordinator Nina Thompson said the work to replace and rebuild aging infrastructure – many of these highway bridges were built in the 1960s – with modern design features not only adds capacity but increases access for pedestrians.

“We’re adding multi-use trails on both sides of the highway (at New Florissant and New Halls Ferry) to allow for limited bicycling and jogging,” Thompson said.

Safety improvements are being achieved, MoDOT says, by eliminating crossover slip ramps at Pershall and Dunn that for years required motorists to cross over a lane of traffic that was headed toward them as they exited I-270.

“We’ve done extensive traffic modeling and safety analysis to ensure that what we’re building and improving today along I-270 will adequately serve motorists years down the road,” said Kopinski, noting that 140,000 vehicles travel this stretch of I-270 north every day and approximately 18 percent of that is truck traffic.

The final major section of the I-270 North Design-Build Project, the new Route 367 interchange, will commence soon. “It has long been a standard cloverleaf interchange,” Kopinski said. “We are ramping up this summer and fall to make significant changes.”

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MoDOT Closing I-44 at Big Bend This Weekend for Bridge Replacement

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

MoDOT will close all lanes in both directions by 11pm this Friday, July 8 on Interstate 44 near Crestwood and Kirkwood to place girders and panels on the Big Bend Bridge as part of that $6 million replacement project.

Eureka-based Gershenson Construction Company is the general contractor performing the design-bid-build project, which is replacing the highway bridge originally built in 1967. Burns & McDonnell headed the design team with ABNA Engineering as a subcontractor.

MoDOT Resident Engineer Scott Washausen said construction began in February 2022 and is expected to complete by late October. MoDOT anticipates that the bridge will be open to traffic in late August.

“Traffic this weekend will be routed up and over the ramps,” said Washausen. “We plan to reopen three of the four lanes in each direction on I-44 by 5 a.m. on Monday, July 11. One lane in each direction will remain closed through August, as will Big Bend Boulevard over the interstate. This 55-year-old bridge is in poor condition and reaching the end of its useful life.”

Rebuilding the Big Bend Bridge allows MoDOT to raise the structure to interstate standards, according to Washausen, hopefully reducing the number of times that the bridge is struck. The replacement also allows MoDOT to bring the barrier walls and sidewalks along the bridge up to current design standards.

“We’re widening the bridge slightly to accommodate the new, updated sidewalks to meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements,” he said. “We’re adding extra left-turn lanes on the ramps from eastbound and westbound I-44. The bicycle lanes will remain the same width, but the new, wider bridge will allow for five-foot shoulder spacing to make it easier for cyclists and drivers to share the lane.”

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MoDOT Improving I-55, I-70 Bridges and I-70 Pavement

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

Missouri Dept. of Transportation continues work on three major interstate heavy highway projects in 2022, two of them specific to highway bridge improvements.

MoDOT’s St. Louis District began all three of these infrastructure improvement projects in 2021 and expects to complete all three this year: I-55 bridge improvements in St. Louis City, I-70 bridge improvements on more than one dozen bridges north of downtown and I-70 pavement improvements.

The project to remove and replace driving surfaces on several bridges along I-55 into the city includes the northbound and southbound bridges over South Broadway and bridge surfaces at Virginia, Bates, Gasconade, Potomac, over South Second Street, River Des Peres, Koeln, Loughborough, the Union Pacific Railroad, Gravois Creek, Green Park and Bayless.

I-70 highway bridge improvements also wrapping up in 2022 include updated driving surfaces on 14 bridges between North Hanley and Madison Streets. MoDOT’s work includes an overlay on the Adelaide bridge.

Pavement improvements along I-70, to finish this year, include resurfacing of the interstate roadway between Branch and Biddle Streets. Sidewalk work on various sections of the outer roads between Salisbury and Biddle are also part of the project’s scope to ensure that the sidewalks meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

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MoDOT, MSD, 12 Local Government Agencies To Unveil $1B+ in New Infrastructure Construction Projects

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Officials from the City of St. Louis and four surrounding Missouri counties will join leaders from the Missouri Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Sewer District, U. S Army Corps of Engineers, East-West Gateway Council, Meramec Regional Planning Commission, Boonslick Regional Planning Commission, Great Rivers Greenway and the Hoffman Family of Companies to unveil more than $1 billion of new road, bridge and sewer construction projects before hundreds of construction contractors and interested suppliers at the 2022 Investment in Infrastructure Expo to be held February 22 at the St. Charles Convention Center.

Sponsored by the SITE Improvement Association, this annual event will include presentations about upcoming projects, a financial outlook by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, a panel discussion featuring three regional planning commissions and a trade show featuring construction industry suppliers and other exhibitors networking with Expo attendees and project owners. The last in-person Expo in 2020 attracted more than 400 attendees and 35 exhibitors, and this year’s event will likely attract many more due to the heightened increase in infrastructure investments being planned at all levels of government. For a short video highlighting the 2020 event, click here: https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/664275234.

“The infrastructure projects being unveiled in this area in 2022 are only the tip of the iceberg of what is coming thanks to the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by the federal government and other local and state stimulus spending,” said Jeremy Bennett, Executive Director of SITE. “We will provide participants a look at what lies ahead in terms of these infrastructure investments in our region that will enhance our competitiveness, create good jobs and make our economy stronger for the long run.”

            The Expo will begin at 1:30 pm with four concurrent presentations outlining more than $1 billion in new construction work and what prospective bidders for that work need to know. The trade show and networking session will then be held from 3:45 – 6:00 p.m. in the exhibit hall, with refreshments available at no additional cost.  Presenters scheduled from 1:30 – 3:45 pm include the following:

  • Tom Blair, P.E., District Engineer, St. Louis District of MoDOT covering Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties and the City of St. Louis
  • Matt Barnes, P.E., Civil Engineer, City of St. Louis Board of Public Service
  • Stephanie Leon Streeter, PE, Acting Director, St. Louis County Department of Transportation and Public Works
  • Amanda Brauer, PE, PTOE, Manager of Roads and Traffic for St. Charles County
  • Jason Jonas, PE, PMP, Public Works Director, Jefferson County;
  • Jim Grutsch, Franklin County Highway Administrator
  • Rich Unverferth, PE, Director of Engineering for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District
  • Michael Feldman, PE, Chief of the Project Management Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Bonnie Prigge, Executive DirectorMeramec Regional Planning Commission
  • James Wild, Executive DirectorEast-West Gateway Council
  • Chuck Eichmeyer, Project CoordinatorBoonslick Regional Planning Commission
  • Charles Gascon, Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
  • Todd Antoine, Chief of Planning & Projects, Great Rivers Greenway;
  • Representative of Hoffman Family of Companies, Augusta, Missouri, regarding the transformation of the community to a national wine destination.

Tickets are required and can be purchased by visiting https://sitestl.org/event/2022-investment-in-infrastructure-expo/ or calling 314-966-2950.

About SITE Improvement Association

The SITE Improvement Association advances the construction industry in eastern Missouri through public policy advocacy, labor relations support, safety and leadership training and professional networking. Established in 1966 as an independent trade organization, SITE represents more than 230 contractors and suppliers in the Concrete, Asphalt Paving, Sewer/Utility, Highway/Bridge, Earthmoving, Landscaping and Specialty construction sectors.  For more information, visit www.sitestl.org.

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AGC of Missouri, MoDOT Celebrate 65 Years of Interstates, Policy Org Releases Transport Report

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

The Associated General Contractors of Missouri, Missouri Dept. of Transportation and elected officials from St. Charles city and county celebrated the 65th anniversary of the genesis of America’s interstate highway system on Aug. 13.

Missouri was the first state to break ground on what would become a nationwide network of 46,876 paved miles of interstate routes, of which nearly 1,400 miles are in Missouri. During President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s term, the federal government let contracts to begin building. The stretch of Interstate 70 where last week’s celebration took place represents the first spot in the U.S. where shovels hit dirt to begin constructing the interstate system.

“Right here, the first shovel of dirt turned on the greatest economic engine in the U.S., our interstate system,” said Len Toenjes, president of the AGC of Missouri.

Tom Blair, MoDOT St. Louis District engineer, said the agency is ready to move forward on several Tier I projects awaiting funding through the proposed $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal approved by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 10 and awaiting action in the House. The bill devotes $550 million in new spending for roads and bridges, broadband internet, public transit and electric utilities.

The prioritized (currently unfunded) projects are: I-70 at I-64, I-70 at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, a segment of I-270 that is only two lanes in both directions and I-55 in Jefferson County.

“MoDOT stands ready to produce increased results as a result of this increased investment,” Blair said.

Also part of the Aug. 13 interstate anniversary celebration was Carolyn Bonifas Kelly, director of communications and research for TRIP, a DC-based nonprofit national transportation research group. The organization just released recommendations for the restoration and renewal of the interstate highway system. To see the full report, go to https://tripnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/TRIP_Missouri_Interstate_Report_August_2021.pdf

“As of May 2021, the level of interstate volume is 3 percent above 2019 levels,” said Kelly. “Missouri has the 9th highest volume in the nation in terms of interstate truck traffic. It’s critical that the U.S. provides long-term, sustainable and adequate transportation infrastructure funding. The long-term vision that helped establish our interstate highway system 65 years ago is needed again today.”

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MoDOT Asks Business Stakeholders for Input on State’s Rail and Freight Plan

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By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE

MoDOT Waterways and Freight Administrator Cheryl Ball is asking freight owners, shippers, truckers and other stakeholders for input as the agency writes its 2021 combined rail and freight infrastructure plan.

For the first time ever, MoDOT is crafting a 5-year strategic plan that includes both rail and freight. The most recent rail plan was drafted in 2012, and the latest freight plan was completed in 2014. Ball says it makes sense to combine both plans into one to best serve business and industry stakeholders.

“One plan makes sense in terms of interpreting the data and in harnessing the expertise of our stakeholders in the most efficient way,” Ball said. “We’re seeking input from all stakeholders – in Missouri, regionally and across the U.S. – as to how we can continually make operational improvements to make our transportation infrastructure as safe and certain as possible for those whose businesses depend upon reliable, predictable routes and schedules.”

Rail traffic comprises 50 percent of all the freight traffic in Missouri, according to Ball, while truck traffic also comprises 49 percent to 50 percent. Water, air and pipeline together comprise less than 2 percent of all statewide freight traffic.

“Interstate 70 is one focus of our plan,” she said. “For example, trucking industry stakeholders told us that if there’s a crash on I-70 in the rural parts of Missouri, there’s not an escape route. That makes the route subject to a lot of uncertainty in terms of the projected time to carry goods to their destination. We’re looking at work we can do to improve emergency ramps in locations where frequent crashes occur. Operational efficiency strategies are a big part of making our major trucking routes not only safe but also dependable.”

Another example of work with industry stakeholders, says Ball, are communications strategies to ensure that transportation stakeholders are aware, weeks ahead of time, if they need to reroute due to anticipated road projects such as the I-270 reconstruction. “Shippers want to know that if they route a truck through this corridor, is it going to add 45 minutes, two hours or four hours to their time estimate,” Ball said. “Particularly for warehouse and distribution stakeholders, traveling from city to city might be reliable but traveling those last few miles, exiting the interstate to their destination, can wreak havoc with their projected schedules. A major goal of our integrated rail and freight plan is to make changes and improvements that lessen these uncertainties for businesses whose livelihoods rely upon infrastructural and operational efficiency.”

Business and industry members interested in providing input to MoDOT toward its 2021 rail and freight plan are encouraged to contact the agency via https://www.modot.org/contact-information. Trucking companies are also encouraged to take the latest Missouri truck parking survey at https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/079af1bb10154a3da76c8853da10481b/

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MoDOT to Suspend Construction of I-44 bridge at Shrewsbury

FacebooktwitterlinkedinmailMoDOT has suspended construction of the eastbound I-44 bridge over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, near Shrewsbury until next spring due to concerns with the expected durability of the bridge.

During on-going monitoring of the bridge project, inspectors noticed greater than usual cracking on the westbound bridge. These cracks, about the width of a credit card, may allow water and salt to get through the driving surface, which could reduce the life-span of the bridge.

“The bridge is safe, but we want to make sure that Missouri taxpayers get the best product for their infrastructure dollars. Since the design and construction of the eastbound bridge is the same as the westbound bridge, we want to make sure we determine the cause and potential impact of the cracking on the westbound bridge before we construct the deck on the eastbound bridge,” said Tom Blair, MoDOT St. Louis District Engineer.

Due to the urgency of the situation the department has hired a third-party consultant to review the material, procedures and design of the bridge project. This detailed analysis may take several months.

“We want to get this done as quickly as possible, but also want to make sure we determine the correct cause and appropriate fix. Once the detailed analysis is complete, we will determine our course of action, and will work as quickly as we can to get the eastbound interstate bridge open to traffic. We understand the impacts this will have though winter and apologize for them,” said Blair.

Since construction is suspended, the work zones on I-44 between Shrewsbury and Jamieson, as well as the ramp closure from Shrewsbury to eastbound I-44 will remain in place until construction is complete.  Crews will shift traffic on eastbound I-44 slightly to ease the crossover between the eastbound and westbound lanes and will close westbound I-44 for a weekend to seal the bridge deck to minimize any impact due to winter temperatures and salt.

Weather permitting, crews will close all westbound lanes of I-44 between Hampton and Shrewsbury at 8 p.m. Friday, November 16. They will also close all but one eastbound lane at Shrewsbury at 8 p.m. Friday, November 16. In addition, drivers will not be able to get on or off westbound I-44 at Hampton, Southwest, Arsenal, Jamieson or Shrewsbury starting at about 7 p.m. Friday, November 16.  All lanes and ramps should be reopen by 6 a.m. Monday, November 19 for morning rush.Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

Asphalt Conference Nov. 29-30 at Missouri S&T

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FacebooktwitterlinkedinmailThe 59th annual Asphalt Conference will be held Nov. 29-30 at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Registration is $130 per person and is available online at asphalt.mst.edu.

Conference presentations will include intelligent compaction projects; basics of plant operation; lift thickness and nominal maximum size of aggregate issues; benefits of increased density; Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) performance tests: cracking, rutting and stripping industry task groups; chip seal design, specification and construction; cape seals; high-volume traffic chip seals; soil cement stabilization and cold in-place recycling; scratch and seal update; scrub seals and matrix slurry seals; Binder 101; MoDOT recycled asphalt pavement/recycled asphalt shingles long-term pavement program update; parking lot design for longevity; pavement design examples with “PaveXPress;” Federal Aviation Administration versus highway spec comparison; MoDOT’s current research; and the Missouri Asphalt Pavement Association update.

Organizers say the conference will be of interest to contractors, public agencies, consulting engineers, testing labs, aggregate producers, asphalt binder suppliers and technical equipment representatives. Conference participants will receive personal development hours credit.

For conference program information, contact Dr. Dave Richardson, Chancellor’s Professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at Missouri S&T and conference director, at 573-341-4487 or richardd@mst.edu. For registration information, contact Missouri S&T’s office of Distance and Continuing Education at 573-341-6222 or dce@mst.edu.Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail