MoDOT to improve Meramec Bridge for bicycling

One of the top projects submitted as part of the High Priority Bicycle, Pedestrian, and ADA Projects List organized by  the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation in spring 2010 was a call for improving the Highway 30 project over the Meramec River between Fenton and Sunset Hills.

The bridge is a major crossing point of the Meramec River and there are no other nearby bridges available for use. The project scored 13th of more than 250 projects submitted for the High Priority Projects list--a very high ranking.

The bridge has no shoulder or bicycle lane, and as bicyclist Susan Swope documented in this video, bicycling across the bridge with high-speed traffic is a daunting experience:

 

Susan recently organized a campaign to improve safety on the bridge, contacting MoDOT, MoBikeFed, and other key groups.

And just last Friday, MoDOT let us know--they are planning to fix the bridge this fall.  Linda Wilson of MoDOT's St. Louis office wrote:

Our traffic engineers have reviewed the situation and we are going to restripe the northbound(eastbound) lanes of the Route 30 bridge to add a shoulder back.  There are currently two lanes and a shoulder southbound and we are going to restripe the northbound bridge to have it be the same.

The northbound lanes currently have three lanes.  We have two lanes coming onto Route 30 from Route 141 and we had given the traffic three lanes across the Meramec River bridge before they had to merge together.  That is why there currently is not a shoulder.  But, our engineer's observations are that most cars merge into the two lanes before they get to the bridge. So we are going to take the third merging lane away and make it a shoulder. We also know the Old Route 30 bridge reconstruction is taking longer than expected.  We need to get this done since there is not another good cycling alternative.

It will take a little while to get all the signs and stripes changed so I don't have an exact date, but it should be by this Fall.

This is but one example of the bicycle, pedestrian, and ADA improvements that MoDOT has made recently, as a result of the High Priority List and internal changes in MoDOT's priorities.

In May, MoDOT announced $13 million in new funding for 13 major projects from the High Priority List.

Many other projects from the list--and many other bicycle, pedestrian, ADA, and sidewalk projects from around the state--have been funded by MoDOT this year, as part of the changes in its internal policies and procedures to routinely address bicycle and walking facilities in its planning and funding.

Kudos to MoDOT for making these much needed changes!

Addressing problem spots in your community
If you have particularly issues or places that cause difficulties in bicycling and walking on or across MoDOT roads--particularly those where you can see a siple solution might solve the problem--we encourage you to, politely and pursuasively, approach your local MoDOT office.

They will listen and help you find solutions when they can.

Many thanks to Susan for taking the initiative in this campaign--she has made a positive difference in her community!

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