For Immediate Release
City, MoDOT Strategies for Managing Holiday Traffic
Staff at the Traffic Management Center from both the City of Springfield and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) will be implementing traffic management strategies to help accommodate the traditionally higher traffic flow experienced during the holiday shopping season. These include modifying signal timing and camera viewing hours; reminding motorists of traffic tips; and continuation of major roadway improvements in the Springfield area.
Signals and Cameras
Seasonal Traffic Signal Timing Plans – Special seasonal timing plans will be implemented on Nov. 26, the Friday after Thanksgiving. These traffic signal timing plans are designed to provide greater capacity in and around major retail shopping corridors to help accommodate higher holiday traffic volumes. Additionally, signals around major shopping centers will begin running special signal plans earlier and later, as needed, to cover extended shopping hours. Due to the high number of entertainment and dining opportunities in downtown, higher than normal traffic volumes are expected in the Center City area during the holiday season.
On-Street Camera Monitoring – Operators at the Transportation Management Center will monitor traffic flows for congestion and vehicular incidents by using on-street traffic monitoring cameras placed near major intersections in the busy shopping areas of south Springfield. Operators will work the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving and other extended hours as necessary to monitor traffic flow, respond to observed problems, and provide updated traveler information. Sources for traffic information are as follows:
OzarksTraffic.info – The camera images of roadways are available online at www.ozarkstraffic.info. The site allows users to view more than 100 images from 40 roadside traffic cameras throughout Springfield. The site also contains up-to-date information on current incidents, such as crashes and stalled vehicles that affect traffic flow in Springfield and Greene County. Motorists are encouraged to visit the site to check traffic conditions before beginning their travel in the area.
Live Traffic Video – CityView, the City’s government access channel, will offer extended live video feeds from the traffic-monitoring cameras throughout the holiday season. Normal viewing times are 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.
Extended viewing will be available at the following times:
- Friday, Nov. 26 – 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
- Saturdays from Nov. 27 – Dec. 18: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
- Sundays from Nov. 28 – Dec. 19: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and
- Friday, Dec. 24 – 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Additional times may be scheduled as traffic or weather conditions warrant.
CityView is available to Springfield Mediacom subscribers on digital cable channels 80, 80.1, and 15.1 on Mediacom and on AT&T’s U-verse channel 99. CityView also is available via videostreaming to all viewers on the City’s website at www.springfieldmo.gov/cityview.
Travel During Inclement Winter Weather – TMC staff will work extended hours, when necessary, during periods of inclement winter weather to monitor traffic conditions and provide updated traveler information. When travel is necessary under such conditions, motorists should use extra caution by reducing speeds and increasing following distances. Extended viewing of live video feeds on CityView will be made available to show road conditions during these times. In the event of traffic tie-ups, the TMC will post alerts on www.ozarkstraffic.info to aid local media in releasing traffic information to motorists to help them avoid major congestion.
An active LED warning message sign, which displays the message “Red Signal Ahead” alerts eastbound motorists approaching Lone Pine Avenue on Battlefield Road that they will need to stop for a red signal. Using this advanced warning at times when the roadway has snow or ice conditions will help motorists know when to exercise special care on the steep downhill slope as they approach the traffic signal at Lone Pine.
Similarly, “Ice on Bridge” signs are activated when needed on the Martin Luther King Bridge (on Benton Avenue). This season the Grant Avenue bridge will have static signs warning motorists that the ‘bridge ices before roadway.’
Shopping Traffic Tips
Extended Shopping Hours – Shoppers are encouraged to take advantage of extended shopping hours offered by many businesses to help reduce the peak traffic loads that are expected on the day after Thanksgiving and on weekends through the first week in January. Past experience indicates that the peak traffic on the three days after Thanksgiving occurs between noon and 2 p.m.
Other suggestions include:
- Before leaving your home, tune into local traffic reports on TV, then tune into the radio for additional traffic reports while you travel.
- Pre-plan your shopping route to help reduce the need to double back on the same roadway and pre-select lanes of travel for turns to better access to each business.
- Do not follow other motorists too closely.
- Be patient and courteous to other motorists.
- Plan trips to better utilize less congested roadways.
- Consider walking, carpooling, or taking the bus.
- If traffic does back up, do not block intersections.
Major Improvement Projects
Interchange/Roadway Improvements – Earlier in the year, MoDOT District 8 office fully opened the diverging diamond interchange project at National Avenue and U.S. 60 (James River Freeway). This project has already helped reduce delays and will prove to be very beneficial in handling high traffic volumes this shopping season.
Several construction projects around Springfield will be noticed by traveling motorists during the holiday shopping season.
The U.S. 60 (James River Freeway) and U.S. 65 (Schoolcraft Freeway) Interchange project is progressing and motorists are requested to exercise caution while traffic is maintained through the construction area. Highlights of this project include:
- The new northbound to westbound flyover has been completed and is opened to traffic;
- Work continues on the new eastbound to northbound flyover, and the eastbound to southbound bridge/ramp;
- A detour is currently in place due to the closure of the westbound to southbound cloverleaf ramp;
- The new eastbound to northbound flyover is scheduled to open on Jan. 24;
- Starting the second week of December, the westbound to northbound ramp will be closed for 60 days; and,
- The contractor is preparing to switch traffic control to head-to-head driving conditions on U.S. 60 between the railroad tracks and James River bridge in early February.
The widening of U.S. 65 to six lanes between U.S. 60 and Interstate 44 continues to progress with numerous lane restrictions at times during working hours. Highlights of this project include:
- Concrete widening/paving operations are now complete from Kearney to south of Battlefield;
- New shoulders have been constructed from Sunshine to south of Battlefield;
- Currently, the contractor is rebuilding and widening the railroad bridges between Sunshine and Chestnut;
- Rehabilitation and widening of bridges are underway between Kearney and Division;
- The northbound U.S. 65 traffic shift is currently in place at the Thayer bridge (south of Cherry Street);
- Catalpa Street under US 65 is scheduled to be reopened by Nov. 23; and,
- Upcoming work operations include construction of the median concrete barrier wall north of Catalpa and pouring concrete to fill in the holes around median stormwater inlets.
A new intersection project at Campbell Avenue and Weaver Road is scheduled to begin construction on Dec. 1. This project includes a relocation of Weaver Road to the north of the existing intersection. Work in December will primarily consist of utility relocations in various locations along both Campbell and Weaver.
For more information, contact: Jason Haynes, City of Springfield, at (417) 837-5799; or Adam Humphrey, MoDOT, at (417) 837-5787.