The city of Weldon Spring and the Missouri Department of Transportation [MoDOT] are taking actions to make area roads safer.
Over the past year, MoDOT has worked to make some much needed safety improvements to the area. One is a new, flashing warning sign at O’Fallon Road and Route 94. This sign is intended to attract driver attention and prevent red-light running. Another is the installation of a median guard cable to prevent crossovers from eastbound and westbound lanes of the highway.
The newest improvement is the addition of a J-turn at Independence Road and between South Breeze and Wolfrum roads, so drivers can access eastbound and westbound Route 94. Drivers will still be able to turn left from Route 94 onto South Breeze Road. In addition to the J-turn, the lighting at South Breeze also will be upgraded to new LED lights.
A J-turn is a specialized intersection where, rather than crossing traffic, motorists turn right, merge into the left lane and then make a U-turn at a designated point. Although drivers will have to travel slightly further to get to their destination, MoDOT says J-turns can take the same or less time than trying to wait for a safe gap in traffic. The roadway change is expected to reduce serious crashes.
MoDOT selected contractor R.V. Wagner, Inc. to implement the project. Construction began in late July and is scheduled to be completed in late fall. According to MoDOT, the project contract was awarded at approximately $715,000.
“Ultimately, MoDOT is hoping to remove turns and crossings [at the intersection] from the equation so it can cut down right angle T-bone crashes,” Andy Tuerck, St. Charles County area engineer, said. “It’s a unique solution for the area, and we’re very excited about it.”
According to MoDOT, the volume of traffic at South Breeze does not meet the minimum requirements for a signal. Additionally, the agency has said that a signal at the intersection of South Breeze and Route 94 could increase crash rates and impede traffic flow on Route 94.