Mainline lane closures at Bellefontaine start later this week

Posted: 2016/03/14 in accident, congestion, construction, MoDOT
Tags: , , ,

 Note: unfavorable weather conditions for Monday and Tuesday has pushed the lane closures back til later this week.  Stay tuned.

If that project in North County last summer was bad enough, MoDOT is about to start a four month long construction project on 270 at Bellefontaine Road that is expected to screw both the morning and evening peaks for people that must use 270 to get between North County and Granite City.  With one mainline lane in each direction expected to be closed on a 24/7 basis, there is a lot of nerves going around.

This evening, for the second time in less than 3 weeks, a serious accident happened on eastbound 270 between Old Halls Ferry and 367 during the peak period that closed the highway for some time.  The incident this afternoon sadly proved fatal for one person and caused major traffic hell in North County.  In fact the westbound lanes were blocked as well for a short time during this incident.  A second incident on a route that people were using to get to Parker Road did not help matters either.

This incident lasted through the entire evening peak period.  Although a fatality often requires all lanes to be closed for a few hours for reconstruction – the fact it was the peak period in the peak direction, and the fact the only other east-west alternate routes in North County are Parker Road and Chambers Road – crews ended up reopening the right lane and allowed the traffic to sneak through the scene after an hour.  It takes over 3 hours to clear this incident.

With a recent rash of serious incidents near 367, the concern is there.  Most of the North County traffic on 270 enters and exit at 367 and the majority of that traffic is from the RiverBend.  The AADT (based in 2013) has traffic counts on 270 at 106K just west of 367 but 54K at Lilac.  While it is too soon to determine whether this lane closure will back up the peak traffic past 367 during the evening peak and east of Lilac during the morning peak, the risk of big problems developing is high.

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