Posted on Monday, March 07, 2005

MoDOT to redo hazardous, congested and confusing Route 367 intersections

   To Southwestern Illinois residents and professionals who have been attempting to navigate the complex intersections along Missouri Route 367 for years, the Missouri Department of Transportation has good news: In 60 days, the agency will start letting bids on major reconstruction of these junctures along the span north of Interstate 270.

   Ed Hassinger, district engineer for MoDOT's St. Louis Metropolitan District, said the $74 million project, when completed, will result in a Route 367 that is uninterrupted by signalization and hopefully much less congested.

   The long-time status of this well-trafficked route, he said, is quite the opposite. Motorists spend long periods of time waiting to continue along Route 367 or wait even longer to prepare to turn off of 367 onto two-lane frontage roads - amidst a myriad of confusing signage.

   Although transportation funding is hard to come by these days, Hassinger said the Route 367 reconstruction effort is a priority project for MoDOT due to the high incidence of accidents along this stretch of the thoroughfare.

   "We've been working on Route 367 for quite awhile," he said, noting that the project will be funded by a combination of state and federal transportation dollars. "Basically we're going to make 367 undirected - without traffic signals - and we'll put underpasses where 367 intersects at New Jamestown, Parker, Redman and Claudine, the four intersections that now cause confusion and long waits at the existing signals."

   The goal of MoDOT's 367 reconstruction effort, he added, is to keep all the local traffic on the outer roads or frontage roads and to keep the mainstream traffic moving smoothly along 367.

   "The Route 367 project will be done in phases," Hassinger said. "We'll try to build the outer roads first and then try to build the main line. It's going to be a major project, and it should be a great improvement for the region by improving access to the (Christian Northeast) hospital, to businesses and to schools."

   The four-phase project will begin in late 2005 with the widening of the outer roads, which will remain two-way. Phase two, set to commence in 2006, includes the improvements to Dunn Rd., which intersects with Route 367 South; this work is to include building new exit and entrance ramps.

   Hassinger said phase three, scheduled to begin in 2007, will involve closing this stretch of 367 and routing all traffic to the outer roads, which will temporarily become one-way. Phase four, starting in 2008, will include closing Redman and continuing to divert 367 mainstream traffic to the outer roads.

   According to 24-hour daily traffic count statistics from MoDOT, the stretch of Route 367 from I-270 north - an approximately three-mile section - is traveled by at least 45,000 vehicles per day.