Snow at wrong time causes the evening peak nightmare

Posted: 2015/02/05 in accident, IDOT, MoDOT, Weather
Tags: , , , ,

A couple years ago, there was a quick hit of snow that caused several incidents on that section between Riverview and Route 367 – the timing of the snow was poor but it fell on a weekend.  Yesterday there was a snowfall event very similar to that one – not only the poor timing of the snow but this time it started just as the evening peak began.  Unlike the past storm, both admins had to be away from the computer for this one due to various reasons, so we do apologize for the lack of updates on the Twitter feed during last night evening peak and this morning peak.  UPDATE 2/8/15 at 16:29: This storm had similar behaviors of a 2012 event that also caused hell in North County, except that one was a morning peak event.

The storm rolled in around 14:30 and started as freezing drizzle – what could very well proved the game changer of this system just by itself.  A quick round of heavy snow would soon follow – it would only put an 1 inch of accumulation down but at the worst possible time of the day.

This is the kind of #traffic crap you get in #STL from 1/4″ of snow.

A photo posted by Mark Florida (@mflorida) on Feb 4, 2015 at 4:23pm PST

For the first time in what seemed like a long time, the entire traffic map was pretty much orange and red. While this was nothing compared to that infamous Atlanta SnowJam 2014, the incidents on that hilly mainline on 270 in North County started piling up:

That was just the start of what would be a very long 4 hours up in that North County section. The hits would continue:

and again

and then this hour long shutdown:

And just for good measure, there was even more:

270 w/o 367 facing west at 22:55 on 2/4.  Eastbound was shut down to allow MoDOT crews to salt the roadways.

270 w/o 367 facing west at 22:55 on 2/4. Eastbound was shut down to allow MoDOT crews to salt the roadways.

It was not until after midnight before North County would calm down for a few hours, but there was a lot of frustration on social media over that, and KMOV would post an article regarding the chaos.  The section of 270 west of 367 was no better during this same time.

//

There was additional posts made out there, most of them with language loaded with words that can’t even be mentioned.

The ensuing morning peak on that section of 270 picked up where it left off complete with another #CodeRed ALERT:

The incident at Lilac triggered the CodeRed alert as there was that 2 vehicle incident and a unrelated stalled tractor-trailer on the exit ramp:

Traffic would back up all the way to 255 and this incident would just complicate matters:

Several people opted for Alton to get around the morning peak mess this morning, only to be greeted by this:

When it was all said and done, there was at least 15-20 incidents just on 270 in North County and a few on the Illinois side of the river as well.

One last note: one of the admins finally gets to be on day shifts starting next week – the good news is better peak hour monitoring but the bad news is that the account may not be monitored for the final canal bridge implosion scheduled to happen on February 17.

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