Before the information with the closures gets posted, the morning peak this morning was marred with two incidents near the river bridge but within a mile of each other:

Only the one closest to Riverview happened within view of the cameras. This incident did not cause the problems until the crews were in the process of clearing it because there was a second incident about a mile to the east of that one.

Both incidents caused about 20-30 minutes in delays, but both happened in the month of August where the big ones are known to occur.

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Now, the next subject is something that the admins posted photos on Saturday of the dates the EB 270 closure. It has now been confirmed by a IDOT press release, and while the bridges will remain open your access has been limited to a combination of New Poag Road and Route 3 OR Pontoon Road and Route 3.  IDOT plans to close EB 270 from Route 3 all the way to Troy next weekend weather permitting, presumably to replace that awful pavement that dates back to the late 1990s (WB 270 pavement is even worse than EB).  The problem is that with an event at Tri City Speedway on Friday evening, there could be hassle in getting to the bridge.  Chain of Rocks Road is an alternate if you are willing to use Maryville Road to cross the railroad tracks, but for the tractor-trailer drivers that utilize the Pontoon Beach distribution centers must use New Poag Road as an alternate as Pontoon Road is off limits to tractor-trailers except the ones that are making local deliveries along that street.

For the detours east of 255, it is mostly 162 and Governors Parkway.  This area, along with North County, is not known to have useful detour routes in the east-west direction.  New Poag Road ultimately goes into 157 and 143 into downtown Edwardsville.  If you are coming out of the Riverbend, it may be wiser to use the Clark Bridge and call it a day.

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IDOT announced that starting July 30, there will be overnight restrictions on 270 between Route 3 and Troy, weather permitting.  One lane will be closed between 19:00 to 05:00 in random locations between MM 3 to MM 16 for the purpose of pavement repairs.  (They really need to resurface the entire mainline, not do band aids.)

Expect reduced speed limits (in Illinois you know they can have them up 24/7/365), heavier than normal police enforcement by the state cops, and delays that could go up to 30 minutes or even longer.  We already have an admin that makes regular use of this area during the overnight hours and as such expect the social media accounts to be occasionally monitored until midnight.  The admins do not want to hear about such and such happening while we were sleeping nonsense as there was plenty of that back in June during the overnight construction in North County.

UPDATE 09:45 7/28/17 – IDOT has confirmed via press release that there WILL be weekend closures related to this project but that weekend has not been announced.  When that weekend has been announced it will be posted within 24 hours.

The admins are aware that the third Saturday in September is the date the infamous Ride of the Century will take place – that event takes place during the afternoon hours.  A separate post will come a few days before that event.

Weather permitting, off peak daytime lane restrictions will happen on the river bridge from June 5 through June 8.

For Monday and Tuesday, one westbound lane will close from 09:00 to 15:00. Expect delays to begin near the Route 3 exit.

For Wednesday and Thursday, one eastbound lane will close from 08:00 to 15:00. Expect delays to begin near the Lilac exit.

Expect reduced speed limits on this section of 270 – and expect them to be enforced. Speaking of speed limits, we know this section is enforced on a regular basis as is:


This week is also the week where the DOT is conducting their annual safety check so truckers must take extra precautions and additional delays east of Route 3 may be encountered.

The NWS has set this area to Moderate Risk for severe weather as the main event is expected to roll through this area late this afternoon.  While this section of 270 is on the fringes of the Moderate Risk threat, the main threat of this outbreak being strong winds is a concern for the truckers that are using this road during the holiday weekend.

The admins think the worst will happen to the south and especially the southwest of here.  There is a preceding line forming that could affect the potency of the severe storms later this afternoon.

While a tornado watch is now out, it does not include this section of 270 at the time:

However, a severe storm watch was issued as the admins were writing this post:

Please stay weather aware this afternoon.

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Lane closures like this one will be in effect for WB 270 both Wednesday and Thursday

Weather permitting, IDOT crews will close the right lane on WB 270 at the river bridge between 09:00 to 12:00 Wednesday and 09:00 to 15:00 Thursday to make repairs to the bridge deck.

While crews are out expect reduced speed limits and delays if your trip goes through this section of 270.


MoDOT has announced lane restrictions on 270 between 170 and the river bridge from 20:00 to 05:00 on weeknights, weather permitting.

If this isn’t enough, though there has been no official announcement the IDOT traffic info map is tipping this one off for next month:

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Today the NWS gave us bad news and confirmed that the Mississippi River at Alton will go past the 29 foot threshold as early as Monday.  The bad news when the river hits that point is that the southbound lanes of 367 just south of the Clark Bridge start to flood and that usually renders the southbound direction of the Clark Bridge off limits.alton-apr30at1700

The projected crest is on Wednesday at or around the 33 foot mark.

Based on an recent MoDOT press conference held this evening, the NB lanes of 367 will be converted into two-way traffic and that will help with the heavier than normal traffic on this section of 270. However, this also means that there will be delays in both the AM and PM peak starting Monday afternoon and lasting likely through the end of the week. Either way, traffic on 270 will be heavier than normal for a few days, the canal bridge area is a known choke point, and plan on delays on both the Clark Bridge and the Chain of Rocks.

Weather permitting, there will be lane restrictions on EB/WB 270 between 255 and 157 on Sunday for the purpose of utility crews to finish a power pole replacement.  There could be full mainline blockages up to 15 minutes at random times during the day.  From 07:00 to 20:00 two lanes in each direction will be blocked, so plan on using 162 or New Poag Road to get around.

If you decide to go through 270, don’t be this guy getting busted allegedly doing 91 just to the east of Route 3:

OR the one that did at least 110:

The bottom line: expect reduced speed limits and expect them to be enforced.

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Really need to discuss a possible severe weather threat but since the SPC is putting this section of 270 on the fringes of the threat yet again the admins have decided instead to mouth off at a recent problem:

That incident during the evening peak last week caused at least two tire blowouts, one just to the east of Lilac and the second closer to the Riverview exit. Traffic was backed up to 367 and this was not the only alleged tire blowout reported.

Yesterday one of the admins drove by at least three blowouts between Lilac and 111. One of the vehicles lost an entire front right tire and was partially blocking an exit ramp waiting for help. There is a good 10 mile section of 270 between New Halls Ferry and 255 that tire debris is common place and the mainline pavement is a piece of shit (complete with a massive pothole at or near the 28.8 MM on the Missouri side and another just to the east of Route 203 – both in the eastbound lanes).  The very worse of the pavement is between Route 3 and Troy with both mainline lanes resembling the “washboard” pavement (complete with the apparent last resurfacing project approximately 20 years ago) from the heavy tractor-trailer usage.  There is another alleged spot on the westbound lanes of the river bridge just before the Riverview exit that looks like any attempt of a patching job ultimately fails over a period of time.

This has caused a lot of tires blowing out with at least 10 incidents since last week.  While the rainy weather has contributed, the tire blowouts usually occur when the temperatures are pushing 100 degrees, not 60 degrees.  With warmer weather out there the crews will likely be putting up the orange cones somewhere in this area this year although no major work has been announced.

The incident from this morning doesn’t appear to be from a blowout but there are pieces of tire visible in the foreground.

 

While the NWS DOES NOT have Winter Weather Advisories in effect for this area (but they do have in effect in the counties along and north of I-72), snow is expected to come just before the Monday morning peak:

While the ground temperatures are above freezing, an recent cold snap and the fact nobody has seen the white stuff for two months may mean very slick roads. (There has been more severe weather outbreaks than inches of snow this season to put this in perspective.) With that in mind combined with a recent run of terrible form when it comes to the North County drive (with last week AM peak fatal MVA on WB 270 in consideration), the admins made the decision to put the AM peak at HIGH risk. (It is also a full moon out there as well so people may be driving much more crazier than normal.)

While not a lot of snow is expected (the worst is expected to remain to the north), the timing can cause big problems as it does not take a lot of snow to cause gridlock, given that 270 up in North County is hilly and the 1-3 inch range is where people often get complacent when it comes to snow.