Over the past five years, the City of St. Louis has spent $52 million preparing for the impending east end closure of Highway 40/I-64. The money has been used for major (and plenty of minor) traffic and road improvements, and for new and better trained staff.
More than 400 of the City’s intersections are now connected through a fiber optic network that lets City traffic engineers make signal changes remotely from a single command center, rather than having to make adjustments by hand by traveling to each intersection. More than 900 sensors have been installed to give traffic on more heavily traveled streets more green light time. Twenty new cameras can monitor traffic at busy intersections. Almost three quarters of a million square yards along priority traffic routes have been resurfaced or resealed making them smoother and less prone to potholes. Hundreds of way-finding signs have been painted.
For practical purposes, the highway reconstruction has already begun. Motorists have already had to navigate around the construction of a new overpass and exit at Kingshighway. The next major challenge for us will be the re-construction of the Hampton Avenue bridge, which will begin on Monday.
Tomorrow, I will join MoDOT’s Deanna Venker and St. Louis Streets Director Todd Waeltermann to detail our plans for the Hampton bridge closure.
All of this will continue to require your patience, ingenuity, and common sense. A firm resolve to ride Metro, walk, or bike more often would certainly help, too.