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Route 141 Safety Improvements at Ridgewood School


Route 141 at Ridgewood

What is the problem?

A lot of traffic uses Route 141 between Route 21 and Astra Way and there are a lot of vehicles turning left onto and off of the Route 21 outer roads, Ridgewood School Road and Old Missouri State Road. Due to the curves in the road and the speed of Route 141, drivers on Route 141 often cannot easily see traffic pulling across the roadway from Ridgewood School Road. Another issue is the number of vehicles that have to turn left with limited visibility.

On average, 30,000 vehicles use this stretch of Route 141 daily. 


What is the proposed solution?


The solution includes several proposed improvements to improve the safe flow of traffic along the corridor:

  • Adding a signal at the intersection of Route 141 and Old Missouri State Road. Since there are a lot of residences that access Route 141 from Old Missouri State Road, this signal would be active at all times and would provide predictability for drivers on Route 141. 
  • Eliminating the left turn from Ridgewood School to northbound Route 141. With the two curves on Route 141 on either side of Ridgewood School, drivers on Route 141 have less time to respond to those drivers turning out of the school. Traffic will still be able to turn left into the school from Route 141.
  • Building an offset right turn lane from southbound Route 141 to the school. This will give traffic turning left from northbound Route 141 some space to enter the school driveway without being affected by traffic turning right from southbound Route 141.
  • Building a U-turn lane on southbound Route 141 at Old Missouri State Road wide enough to allow school busses to make that U-turn. In addition, the left turn from northbound Route 141 to Old Missouri State Road would be rebuilt to avoid U-turning traffic.


How does the U-turn lane help/work?

The U-turn at Old Missouri State Road may not be familiar to drivers along this stretch of Route 141, but it is a safe and effective method of helping traffic cross the road. Here's a video showing how this type of U-turn lane helps with traffic crossing over multiple lanes of traffic, such as at Route 141 and Ridgewood School Drive.

MoDOT built this type of U-turn on Route M at Old Lemay Ferry Road in 2008.  Prior to that, there were a significant number of crashes on Route M, which had limited distance to see slowed or stopped vehicles. Since the U-turn was built, there have been no fatalities and a significant reduction in crashes at that location.

What kind of lane restrictions will there be during construction?

Lane closures will be Monday through Friday during off-peak times.  Lane drops will not be permitted during school pick up and drop off times or during major school events.  Weekend work is possible as the project moves forward. 

When will the project be complete?

The project is scheduled to be completed in September of 2017.


Why is putting a signal at Ridgewood School Road unsafe?

Ridgewood School Road is on a curve on Route 141, which makes it hard to see when traffic is backed up.  During fog, rain or snow, having stopped or slowed traffic on a curve could be dangerous. In addition, a signal at Ridgewood School would really only impact the traffic heading into and out of the school and off Ellis Grove.  Traffic at the school is heavy only when school starts and ends so the rest of the time, signals at the school would need to flash.  Since the signal would not be in operation full time, it would have little effect on what drivers on Route 141 would expect.  In addition, because it is around a curve in the road, it may create a greater chance of crashes as traffic comes across slowed or stopped traffic on Route 141.

How much will this cost?

The project was awarded to LF Krupp Construction for $1.4 million. 

Who Do I Contact For More Information?

Contact MoDOT Franklin/Jefferson County Area Engineer Judy Wagner at 314-453-5021 or by e-mail at Judy.Wagner@modot.mo.gov


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