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Braving the orange cones – road construction season begins

An aerial shot of the plans to revamp the Interstate 44 and Hwy. 141 interchange in Fenton. [MoDOT photo]

Road construction is one of life’s certainties, a few notches below death and taxes. The upcoming construction season in West County is chock-full of projects big and small. As with any outdoor construction project, all work is weather-dependent.

Easily the largest West County project in 2017 involves the Interstate 44 and Route 141 interchange. Two flyover ramps are going up to help ease congestion from southbound 141 to eastbound I-44 and from northbound 141 to westbound I-44.

“The work on Route 141 at Vance and at Marshall is our first priority right now,” said Karen Yeomans, MoDOT’s Area Engineer for southwest St. Louis County. “Our schedule shows that we will open the new through turns early this summer. The other major work that is taking place is the construction of the flyover ramp from southbound Route 141 to eastbound I-44.”

Yeomans said that work will continue through next spring while work on the relocated westbound I-44 ramps will continue through this summer. The overall project completion is July 2018. However, nothing in the project is planned to address how easily the core of the interchange floods during heavy rains.

Other West County road projects in 2017 include:

• Resurfacing I-44 between Route 141 in Fenton and Hwy. 109 in Eureka. Crews should begin this project this summer.

• Interstate 64 will be resurfaced starting this spring from Chesterfield Airport Road to Route 340. Work should continue through the summer and fall, Yeomans said.

• The Big Bend Road overpass at Interstate 270 in Kirkwood will close for deck rehabilitation this summer. The new deck will feature five lanes [two through lanes in both directions plus a left-turn lane for eastbound drivers to access the northbound I-270 ramp] and sidewalks on both sides. Construction should start around Memorial Day and should wrap before schools starts in August. The current bridge was built in 1962.

• Interstate 270 will be resurfaced this summer as well. New asphalt will cover the highway between Route 364 and Interstate 55 and work started on the northern end, between Route 364 in Town & Country and Route 100 in Des Peres this month, with the remainder to be resurfaced in 2018.

• Pavement repairs to Route 100, just west of OO to Hwy. 109 in Wildwood. “On Hwy. 100, we will replace sections of the concrete pavement that have deteriorated,” Yeomans said. “This is not a total pavement replacement as much of it is still in good condition. The sections around expansion joints are what are in need of repair. This work will take place this summer into the fall.”

Next year, MoDOT crews plan to:

• Resurface I-44 from just east of Murdoch Avenue in Webster Groves to Route 141.

• Replace the Hwy. 109 bridge deck in Wildwood over Route 100.

• Extend the southbound auxiliary lane between the I-64 east and west ramps and extend the northbound left turn lane to westbound I-64 further south in Chesterfield.

“Right now, we have three lanes on southbound Olive from Chesterfield Parkway north of I-64 to the westbound I-64 ramp,” Yeomans said. “That lane becomes a right turn only lane to westbound I-64. South of I-64, there is an existing third lane that starts with the eastbound I-64 off-ramp and goes to the ramp to Chesterfield Parkway south of I-64.

“We will fill in the ‘gap’ between those two ramps, so there will be three lanes southbound between Chesterfield Parkway on the north and south ends.”

• Replace the Ladue Road bridge over Hibler Creek in Town & Country, which will require Ladue Road to close during the replacement. Work will begin in spring 2018.

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