Missouri drivers won’t encounter manned construction zones over the extended Thanksgiving weekend.
Between Wednesday afternoon and Monday morning, there’ll be no crews on site at any road project in the state. Linda Wilson-Horne with the Missouri Transportation Department says there will still be spots where lane closures remain in place. “We do have some projects that have a more permanent condition” said Wilson-Horne. “We have a lane blocked off that is blocked off all the time that cannot be reopened, but workers will not be out there.”
MoDOT maintenance and construction crews will stop work at various times during Wednesday afternoon, and won’t return until Monday morning. The schedule is negotiated into the contract of union workers who are employed at the state agency. Emergency workers will remain on-call for unexpected occurrences such as debris in the roadway.
Wilson-Horne says despite the absence of maintenance and construction crews over the four-day weekend, there’ll still be reduced speed zones because of hazardous conditions. “You might have ten-foot lanes instead of 12, or a tight barrier wall that you’re driving alongside. So the speed is actually reduced for your safety, not for the workers’ safety.”
The lane closures which will remain in place are at major projects, especially in urban areas. “In downtown Kansas City they’ve got some projects going on on I-70” said Wilson-Horne. “As well, in St. Louis there’s projects on I-70 in St. Charles County as well as near the airport.”
Wilson-Horne says drivers should always obey whatever speed is posted on a black and white state regulated sign. She says speeding through work zones is a constant problem for MoDOT.
Congestion will also be an issue on Sunday following Thanksgiving, notably on I-70. Last year between 3-and-9 p.m., traffic slowed to 35 miles-per-hour between Columbia and Wentzville, a drastic reduction from the posted speed-limit of 70 miles-per-hour.
Wilson-Horne notes traffic patterns tend to depart from normal schedules over holiday weekends. “Fortunately our work zones won’t be active and impeding your way.”