Posts Tagged ‘river bridge’

In the wee hours of Monday morning when the admins posted the fog risk threat for this week, there was more than enough factors in play to put Thursday morning at HIGH risk:  calm winds, a warm day, cool night, and most importantly temperatures expected to be near the freezing point.  After one of the admins got off work early Thursday morning around 02:00 – the fears were confirmed and by 04:30 the live feed cameras were only confirming what could been happening:

As the morning lows dipped to 28 in Alton the admins made at least two posts on Facebook warning that river fog was present with the freezing temperatures and extreme caution was to be taken.  If that was not enough, Laura Hettiger was running her mouth at least two times during the 05:00 hour on Channel 4 to be aware of the fog threat.  One of the admins went to bed before 06:00 and the other was on the way to work after 05:30 there was not a lot of monitoring on either the Facebook or Twitter accounts.

At or around 06:50, the first of the multiple incidents that happened in a 20 to 25 minute time window happened westbound west of 367 and a second happened eastbound between Lilac and Riverview:

Within 10 minutes this was being reported:

By the way, even around 06:45 there was still river fog in the area of the river bridge by a TV reporter that was making a trip across while en route to an unrelated story:

It was clear that the freezing river fog caused a few slick spots during the AM crunch time and as soon one happened, all shit broke loose.

The river bridge one was in a bad spot too causing crews from Mitchell Fire Department to walk to the scene to get to the people. Luckily only minor injuries were reported in this ordeal.

There were some live videos as well

In the end, the westbound lanes at the bridge were closed for over an hour and it takes at least 90 minutes before things return to normal. The average delay was at least 60 to 90 minutes.  This morning should reinforce why river fog under certain circumstances can lead to the big incidents and all three incidents were consistent with people allegedly driving too fast for the conditions.  In fact, we are approaching the 40th anniversary of one of the first epic fails that happened on this section of 270 and it happened on a morning with freezing temperatures and conditions favorable for river fog.  What happened this morning was minor compared to what happened on the morning of November 12, 1977, and back in the late 1970s there was not much of a morning news scene, no internet, no social media, and everyone relied on the evening newspaper to get their gossip and CB radio for traffic conditions.

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Weather permitting, off-peak lane closures on the river bridge will occur from 09:00 to 15:00 daily from 9/18 to 9/21, as IDOT crews are expected to do more patching.  While delays are expected as soon as you cross the canal bridge, do not be surprised to see delays stretch towards 255.  Expect reduced speed limits, higher police presence enforcing the speed limits, and delays.

Weather permitting, one lane of EB 270 will be closed at the river bridge from 09:00 to 12:00 for IDOT crews to conduct bridge inspections tomorrow. The crews will also be at the Clark Bridge but that will be much later in the day. Expect delays to Lilac.

This comes on the heels of last week unannounced EB 270 lane closure that lasted most of the off peak period.

The following day the evening peak period saw a lot of crews near the canal bridge – while the alleged incident was westbound the outcome was very tragic. Not knowing all the details and respecting privacy the admins are not going into the details.  Prayers are with the family at the time.

The rough week was topped off with an peak hour incident on Friday morning on the westbound lanes west of Riverview that took 40 minutes to clear.

IDOT has announced off-peak lane closures for westbound 270 at the river bridge on various dates in the next week from 09:00 to 15:00, weather permitting.

The patches that had failed or about to fail.

The bottom line is to expect delays starting at the canal bridge and a reduced speed limit that will be enforced by the ISP.

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.

IMG_1550

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.

Weather permitting, there will be lane restrictions at random locations on 270 between Riverview and Route 3:

Crews are expected to work on the lighting, which has been non existent in spots (especially just to the west of the canal bridge that been out for a least a year), or had an outage in recent weeks (the ones that got knocked out in a recent accident are working again but there are still a few non functioning poles).

As such, expect delays, an enforced speed limit of 45 MPH, and pay attention to the crews. It is doubtful that pothole patching will take place tomorrow but there are two new potholes on the river bridge in the westbound direction between MM 35.4 and MM 0.0, both in the right lane, and the one cannot be avoided.

The word goes when there is one big incident, there is another within a short time frame.  Whether you treat this one and/or the one that happened in West County yesterday as such, please keep in mind this is the time of the year that the big ones have a tendency to happen.

When it came to both incidents that happened today (the one on the canal bridge this morning and the river bridge during the ensuing evening peak), the admins missed both of them.  One was at work and the other two were asleep on the first one (late nights mean sleeping through the mornings), and all were at work for the second one.  The page cannot be monitored on a 24/7 basis so please make use of these facebook groups:

Meanwhile this morning several vehicles were involved in this morning peak hour incident on the canal bridge:

This one backed up traffic to 111 and someone bragged that it took over 90 minutes to get from the Riverbend to Chesterfield via 270 this morning. This incident only took 30-40 minutes to get cleared but happened in the busiest hour of the morning.

Meanwhile the evening peak did not get off to a good start:

It took 20 minutes to clear this minor incident on the river bridge at the beginning of the evening peak. This one also happened westbound.

Both incidents paled in comparison to the two big ones that happened on 270 yesterday – just that it happened in West County and caused 9 long hours of traffic nightmares for some of the people that use 270 out of the Riverbend and then head towards West County:

And this came following a morning peak incident up in North County that managed to back up traffic towards 367:

It is safe to say that 270 has been a beast during the morning peak the past few weeks. Any other words to describe it would likely require NSFW warnings.

The latest winter winter event brought at least 3 mainline incidents between Routes 367 and Route 3 and possibly a few more that we missed. Two of the incidents were at Lilac on the hill. The Friday evening peak was much lighter than normal and the majority of people took the warnings and stayed home.

The video posted during the event happened somewhere in West County near Highway 40.

This section of 270 has been known to be a speed trap target by the Illinois State Police in recent weeks. Last weekend they caught someone allegedly going 100 on 255 just north of 270:

When the admins post about the traffic enforcement going on 270, usually at least one ISP vehicle has been spotted along 270. Last week there were 3 vehicles pulled over westbound at one time. Please slow down and move over for them.

escalated-quickly

Warning: There may be some strong words – the admins do not censor profanity.
As the admins have warned in the past, December is the time where the big incidents tend to occur. This incident happened on a clear night with dry roads.

The admins are counting our lucky stars that the kids were out of school this week on the Christmas vacation – otherwise this incident would had caused bigger traffic chaos. This one came the morning after one of the admins had a late night at the WWE event (and slept through the whole ordeal) and another admin was only able to post right before work and during a break.

Below the admins will simply let the social media feed do the talking:


We will go to see how he handled that emergency detour routes in a minute.


This next video was not shown on the air but it was some behind the scenes. Police were forcing westbound traffic off at Route 3.



The admins did not do a lot of tweeting during the incident, but the feed was loaded.

This incident knocked out the lighting system on the bridge, and the lights are still in the dark as the admins write this post.

5 hours bro

MoDOT was blocking EB 270 mainline traffic at 367 and blocked ramps to EB 270 from Bellefontaine, Lilac, and Riverview.
If you haven’t figured out by now, about two years ago before the canal bridge implosion the admins came up with the page regarding emergency detour routes. Since 143 leading up to the Clark Bridge was likely going to be awful because of this incident (construction in downtown Alton was going on had parts of Ridge Street blocked for the past few weeks), one of the only traffic reporters that was not on vacation this week spent the entire traffic segment bragging about the southern detour routes.  (Couple that we knew that went northern routes got around Alton on 140 and Homer Adams Parkway.)  It is clear that the page was working as intended and nobody was bitching about traffic in the Riverbend on social media.

The incident was the main attention of all three major tv stations, several newspapers, and a few radio stations (had to be a otherwise slow news morning for this incident to get that much attention):

This incident shut down 270 for 5 hours, long enough to ruin an entire morning peak.  It only took one mistake to cause this chaos, and luckily came when the schools were closed for Christmas vacation, people were blowing their remaining vacation time for the year (traffic was lighter than normal all week long), and the weather was quiet.  Had this one happened a week later this chaos could easily rivaled the one that happened 6 years ago. There was an secondary incident during this chaos, a minor one that happened on EB 270 on the bridge that was quickly cleared.

WB 270 was backed up to 111 when it was all said and done. EB 270 was backed up past Lilac and that was because MoDOT was deploying crowd control at 367.


The lights are now out so please use caution, especially if the river fog risk goes to medium or high. Right now the winds are strong enough to keep that threat low but this weekend will not bring favorable weather and next week is too far out to consider the threat.

Weather permitting there will be lane restrictions on WB 270 on the river bridge from 09:00 to 15:00 on Monday and that will mean delays that start near the canal bridge.

The weather forecast for Sunday is not favorable but the main event is expected to remain well to the north and the odds of anything icy has been reduced:

The weather the rest of the week is not expected to be very favorable with another major cold snap coming middle of the week and the weekend is not shaping up to be nice at all. There will be little mention about next weekend until Thursday or Friday.  Monday, however, is expected to be a quiet day on the weather front.

The river fog risk for the week of 12/12
Monday: medium
Tuesday: medium
Wednesday: low
Thursday: low
Friday: low
Saturday: medium
Sunday: medium

One of the admins will be out of town Monday and most of Tuesday due to work related reasons, so monitoring during the construction restrictions may not happen at all.