Commuters concerned with two MoDOT work zones in south St. Louis

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 24 at 5:40 PM

Potentially dangerous construction zones

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Two interchanges in south St. Louis are a potential safety hazard, according to some commuters.

Recently, News 4 was contacted by viewers concerned about two MoDOT work zones.Some commuters say those construction zones are dangerous.  They claim the warning signs telling drivers to merge into another lane are posted too close to the merge and barriers along the roadway make the lanes smaller.

One such intersection is at Big Bend Road merging onto I-270.

Drivers are concerned about the short merge lane not providing enough time to safely join the flow of traffic.  

“There’s not a lot of room for the extension, it’s not extended that far that you have enough time to get on the highway and it is dangerous because of that,” said concerned driver Arlene Thummel.

The concrete barriers while merging are also causing problems. Some drivers claim they can’t see over them.

“Especially me being a short person, it’s even harder to see,” said Thummel.

So News 4 went to MoDOT officials to find out if they’re aware of these issues.

“We do understand that the 11 feet lanes have squeezed them down a bit,” said Engineer Jesse Jonas. “Taking away the shoulder does make it uncomfortable but the situation with the barriers is for their safety and preventing drop offs in the workzone.”

During lunch hour News 4 even saw an accident in the workzone. No one was seriously hurt-but it slowed down traffic even more.

Still, MoDOT officials insist the way the roadway is set up is necessary to build that extra lane.

“That’s what this extra lane is going to do-help all that flow better and these are the same issues that have been there for a long time.  This is why we’re doing the project,” said Jonas.

Officials say the work is expected to be done by the end of the year.

A second intersection coausing concern is Interstate 44 onto Interstate 270. News 4 is continuing to investigate the zones and will keep you updated.

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