Archive for the ‘stall’ Category

Late last night, state police responded to what appeared to be a stalled vehicle on the river bridge.  Patrols on this section of 270 had been heavier than normal as it was an holiday weekend, especially during the overnight hours.  (One of the admins personally witnessed two people get pulled over on Sunday night along 270.)  Upon arriving, the driver was passed out, forcing emergency crews to block the eastbound lanes.

No additional information has been released, due to the privacy laws and the suspicious nature of the incident.  Expect heavier than normal patrols by the state police to continue, as weekend work is expected to begin later this summer.

UPDATE 6/10/16:  Sadly, the man involved in the incident passed away on 6/7/16.  While we have a policy of keeping the victims anonymous, the victim’s family made a Facebook post wanting their story to be shared.  This incident is still under investigation.

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While one of the admins was trying to get some sleep this afternoon (working night shifts and still trying to get over a cold), the string of incidents that has been happening for the past few weeks continued to occur:

Nothing like kicking off the evening peak with an stalled vehicle on the river bridge.

Traffic would back up to 367 before it is cleared in the 15:00 hour:

If anyone thought that things would settle down after that was cleared was wrong, as a second incident would ensure, this one westbound:

This one was closer to the river bridge, and briefly blocked both westbound lanes to allow crews to position their vehicles.

One lane would be blocked causing traffic to back up towards Route 203 before it is cleared around 17:00.

It takes over 30 minutes for the traffic flow to restore to normal levels westbound and eastbound was delayed starting at Lilac just to take a look.

This morning, there were three incidents that hampered the North County drive, one of them happening on 270 and the other two on 367 between 270 and the Clark Bridge.

The first happened in the 6 AM hour south of the Clark Bridge:

It closed down 1 lane of traffic before Route 94 and caused traffic to back up in Alton and is not cleared for an hour.

It supposedly may have drawn more people down to 270 this morning only for this to happen:

This incident backed up traffic to 255 and just made the morning go from bad to worse.  It blocked one lane of traffic and on this section of 270 that is all it needs to cause a 7 mile traffic jam.

Just for good measure, there was another incident that hampered the Clark Bridge drive, even though this one was on northbound 367:

This one made the morning news.  The other two incidents are not cleared until the 08:00 hour.

The NWS has set Slight Risk for severe weather for today and tomorrow – with the better odds of severe weather for tomorrow afternoon.  The odds for severe weather for today is expected to remain to the north but there is a chance of an isolated severe cell developing late in the afternoon with 5% hatched odds.

The best odds will come on Wednesday as a cold front is projected to move through the area:

There is 30% hatched odds of severe weather that day.

The most likely type of severe weather will be the damaging winds – truckers need to take special precautions for those conditions.  As always, forecasts are subject to change and there is a bust potential with any forecast.

Wednesday could also be a day of some traffic delays on a undisclosed section of I-70 through the city – around the same time the severe weather could push through.

The morning peak yesterday did not go smooth in the area between 367 and Lilac with 2 incidents during the 07:00 to 09:00 time window:

When the incident got cleared, a new one took place between Lilac and Bellefontaine involving a vehicle pulling a trailer.

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This blocked the center lane for a short time until the stalled vehicle was moved to the shoulder.  The MoDOT live feed cameras have not been of the best quality lately, so please bear with some bad images for the next few weeks.  Westbound traffic backed up towards Riverview until the incidents got cleared.

Tonight there is a slight risk for severe weather – more likely happening just to the north but could sneak into the corridor.  The odds have placed a 15% to 30% chance for severe weather as a cold front approaches the area Monday night into Tuesday morning.

The weekend did not go incident free, in fact the morning peak on Friday morning itself did not go smoothly.

This stall would happen out of live feed camera range, but would cause traffic to back up all the way to 255.  It takes almost an entire hour for this stall to clear – and it was not the only stall that happened this weekend.

Shortly after 15:00 yesterday, there is another stall – involving a tractor-trailer that broke down.

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This stall draws the state police to the scene within minutes, but it will be over an hour before a tow truck would arrive.  The truck is towed down the Riverview ramp within 5 minutes of the tow arriving.  Traffic would back up to 203.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 06:00 tomorrow through 06:00 Wednesday, but neighboring counties just to the north are under a Winter Storm Warning.  Between 3 to 5 inches of snow is projected to fall for the entire I-270 corridor, but the forecast and the track of the storm can change.

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Rounding the curve westbound just past Lilac exit

The amount of snow will not be the problem with this storm, it will be when the storm arrives. It is projected to arrive right before the start of the evening peak periods, and that will make the commute nasty. The hill between the Bellefontaine and Lilac exits has reared its ugly head during snow events twice this winter with tractor trailer accidents, and there was an incident up the hill last winter as well.

This is heading up the hill westbound just west of the Lilac exit.

This is heading up the hill westbound just west of the Lilac exit.

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On top of the hill

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Heading downhill just before Bellefontaine exit in the westbound direction.

 

If you must go to work tomorrow, plan accordingly and do not forget to stock up on extra water and snacks in your vehicle in case standstill traffic happens.  The editor does not want to hear about another incident similar to the scale that happened last week in Atlanta and Birmingham.

The morning commute did not go off without a hitch – a peak hour stall just before 07:00 westbound on the canal bridge and an unrelated incident at the 255 interchange would set the tone of very slow traffic for the entire morning peak.

 

Last night, the editor went on Facebook and posted that the Tuesday morning peak was going to be a nasty commute as the temperatures were below zero and the mainline lanes were still a sheet of ice.  More people were getting on the roads compared to the day before, and that meant a higher chance of incidents.  Tuesday morning did not disappoint at all:

This incident came shortly after 07:30 and caused traffic to back up to the river bridge.  That incident may had triggered a secondary incident that came a short time later:

This one was cleared by 09:00 and by accounts happened on the canal bridge. The temperatures rebounded into the high teens by the afternoon and the roads were in much better shape for the evening peak.  Still, the evening peak did not go without incident:

It takes 30 minutes to clear this peak hour stall.

The river is iced over due to this cold snap, and there may not be as many bald eagles in the area due to the ice.  However, this cold snap is easing and temperatures will be going back above normal by the weekend as rain is moving in.  Still, there is another shot of snow that could come in time for the Wednesday evening peak.  Although the predictions call for less than one inch of new snow, the timing could have it come in at the worst possible time.  It probably will not be until next week before traffic flow goes back to normal due to the melting and refreezing of the snow, and another variable that is known to happen this time of year: potholes.  Until then, expect the morning peaks to be dicey and the evening peak somewhat better.

All week, the editor has been concerned with the weather forecast for this weekend, due to the chance of freezing rain.  The best chance of freezing rain will be tonight into Saturday morning – eventually the temperatures will warm up just enough during the day on Saturday for cold wet rain.  It only takes a small amount of freezing rain to cause big problems, and MoDOT is not advising travel on I-70 at all on Saturday.

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The corridor is right on the edge of 40% chance of .25 inch ice accumulation.  If the low pressure system tracks just 25 miles to the southeast of what the weather forecasters are predicting, things will go downhill fast.  This area is too close to call when it comes getting a ice storm versus getting a cold rain, so the editor has gone ahead with making this post.  This section of 270 has not had a good history with freezing rain, and there has already been an incident involving a jackknifed tractor trailer on less than one inch of snow this season.

This afternoon did not go smoothly.  Shortly after 13:00, a vehicle stalls eastbound towards the Illinois end of the river bridge.  The stall causes the traffic to back up all the way to the Lilac exit, and it is not until 13:55 when the vehicle is cleared.  It takes about 20 minutes for the traffic flow to revert to normal.  The editor hopes that this incident does not set the tone for the weekend, given the forecast given.

Memorial day weekend is coming up and the good news is that non emergency road closures will be lifted by 15:00 today and will not be reinstated until midnight on May 27.  The bad news is that the work zone speed limit between MP 1.0 and 3.6 on 270 for the canal bridge project is still in effect and will be enforced this weekend.  There will be heavier than normal traffic this weekend to boot, as it is an holiday weekend.

The evening commute yesterday did not go off smoothly.  Traffic backed up from Route 3 all the way back towards Route 367 as a vehicle blows a tire and blocks the left lane during the 17:00 hour.  Thank you to the Twitter community for giving the details of the traffic delay of that incident, as the IDOT traffic site is not mobile phone friendly and the editor was at work at the time (but on break).  Regardless, this incident just adds to a string of incidents that have happened throughout the month of May.

After the rain that hit during the overnight hours last night left, the morning commute started and proved to be a rough one.  Shortly after 07:00, a stall is reported west of the Canal Bridge (MP 1.0)  in the westbound lanes blocking the right lane.  Twitter and Facebook users caught in this one sent messages that the traffic was backed up all the way to 157 and took up to 45 minutes to get through the area.

That incident was on the heels of another one reported during the evening peak by @StLouisTraffic around 16:55 yesterday that was quickly cleared.

The editor was at work and on the production floor where the cell phones are banned at this time, but checking the cameras during the ensuing break suggested that the alleged incident happened on the river bridge.

Speaking of the rough weather, the worst of the storms hit during the overnight hours where traffic tends to be much lighter.  More storms are on tap for this afternoon but the National Weather Service has yet to issue any storm watch for this area as of 10:35.  The Storm Prediction Center has put this area in a slight risk category for severe weather today.