Speeders Not Slowing for I-44 Work
Monday’s focus by Highway Patrol officers netted 33 speeders as well as tailgaters and other violations along Interstate 44 between Eureka and Fenton
Despite warning signs posted for miles, rumble strips, hundreds of traffic cones, concrete barriers, crash barrels and the constant presence of heavy equipment, getting drivers to slow down for the construction on Interstate 44 at Antire Road etween Fenton and near Eureka remains a stubborn problem.
During an eight-hour focus on traffic safety on Monday, eight Missouri Highway Patrol troopers stopped more than 100 vehicles, issuing more than 70 warnings and 66 summonses, according to Troop C Captain Ronald Johnson.
Half the summonses were for speeding, Johnson said. Six were for following too closely, while other drivers were cited for an assortment of violations. Only two of the violations were given to drivers of commercial vehicles, and two commercial vehicles were pulled out of service after inspection.
The campaign, called Operation P.R.O.T.E.C.T. is designed to reduce injuries and avoid fatality crashes, and to aggressively enforce traffic laws.
Despite safety efforts, problems continue in the construction zone. The latest was Monday night when, according to Highway Patrol records, a 56-year old man was taken to SSM St. Clare Health Center in Fenton with minor injuries on Monday night when the car he was driving ran off the side of the road, striking multiple crash barrels.
The construction zone handles about 71,000 cars per day, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation. Workers have shifted two on westbound I-44 near Antire to the eastbound lanes. One lane in each direction remains closed during the project. The shift means there are two lanes going each way on the eastbound side of 44; with a third westbound lane open during the evening rush hour, between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Traffic woes are worsened because there are few good alternate routes.