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UPDATE:
Memorial Drive Ramps Closed for Fourth of July Holiday Festivities
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), June 29, 2012 - Now that westbound I-64 in downtown St. Louis is open after necessary extensive repairs, construction is back to its regular schedule. One lane on westbound I-64 is closed around the clock starting at Broadway. A second lane is closed from 10 a.m., until 3 a.m., the next morning on weekdays. The Broadway ramp to westbound I-64 remains closed. Up to two eastbound I-64 lanes are closed from 5 a.m., until 2 p.m., on weekdays.

In St. Louis City, the following ramps will be closed starting at 4 a.m., Tuesday throughout the week for the holiday festivities:

  • Northbound I-55 entrance ramp at Marion
  • Northbound I-55 exit ramp at Downtown/Memorial Drive
  • Westbound Poplar Street exit ramp at Memorial Drive
  • Eastbound I-70 exit ramp at Pine Street
  • Memorial Drive in both directions
To get downtown St. Louis, motorists are urged to use alternate routes like eastbound I-70 at Broadway, westbound I-64 at 9th Street and I-55 at 7th Street.

Also, the eastbound I-64 exit ramp at 20th Street/Chestnut, and the westbound I-64 exit ramp at 21st Street/Market will close Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for the holiday festivities.


Two River Towers Completed on Mississippi River Bridge
Local, state and federal leaders enjoyed a riverboat tour on the Becky Thatcher to view MoDOT and IDOT crews topping off the two river towers for the new Mississippi River Bridge.
MoDOT and IDOT Crews Complete Two River Towers on Mississippi River Bridge
by Betty Moore, SLFP.com
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), June 28, 2012 - With temperatures hovering near the 100 degree mark, MoDOT and IDOT celebrated the completion of the two river towers for the new Mississippi River Bridge.

Project Director for the new Mississippi River Bridge Greg Horn provided background information on the project during a riverboat cruise on the Becky Thatcher Riverboat. "We began in 1990 to determine how to alleviate the traffic congestion and improve traffic safety in downtown St. Louis."

Horn stated that studies indicated the solution to solve the congestion was to build a new bridge to the north and relocate I-70 to the new bridge, and make changes to the Popular Street Bridge to make it safer and less congested.

In March of 2008 a bi-state agreement was signed and construction began in early 2010. Horn stated that the Mississippi River Bridge actually included 38 projects in Missouri and Illinois to make the whole corridor work.

"The cable-stayed river bridge is the largest of the project and the critical path," said Horn. "The bridge will be two lanes in each direction but will be wide enough to be re-striped for three lanes if needed."

When completed, the new Mississippi River Bridge will be a 2,800-foot-long, cable-stayed span between metro East and St. Louis. The river towers are 1,500 ft apart, making it the third longest cable-stayed bridge in the United States. The cable-stayed concept which began in the late 16th century has become very popular today related Horn. "On this bridge there will be 34 to 72 cables inside each conduit - depending where you are at on the bridge - that will extend from the towers to the deck. Because they are architecturally unique and economical for spanning long distances, cable-stayed bridges are becoming the choice for engineers."

As the boat reached the tower on the Mississippi side, Horn noted that more than 50,000 cubic yards of concrete will be used to construct the main span of the bridge. "That's enough concrete to build a sidewalk from St. Louis to Springfield and back - about 6,250 truck loads. The length of the cables being used on the bridge is about 600 miles. That's enough for a round trip from St. Louis to Kansas City," Horn observed.

With great fanfare, the Becky Thatcher blew an ear-blasting horn salute, as local, state and federal leaders watched crews simultaneously raise flags on each of the 400 ft. towers.

Kenneth H. Suelthaus, member of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, stated that it was an historic day for St. Louis. "We rely upon the transportation across the river to make our commerce operate on the east side and the west side. This is going to be a real enhancement to that."

Suelthaus stated that the Mississippi River Bridge will be bigger than the Clark Bridge at Alton, Illinois and even more prominent. He added that the towers could even be seen from Clayton.

MoDOT District Engineer, St. Louis Ed Hassinger said they were thrilled to make this milestone on time. "The bridge is on time and on budget. It's important to celebrate these milestones so that people know we are doing what we said we would do."

During the return trip to the Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruise docks on Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard in front of the Arch, MoDOT Director Kevin Keith expressed enthusiasm for progress on the project. "It's not that easy to go out and see progress on the bridge. Soon, we will have a bridge to drive across that will be great for this community and region for one hundred years."

The new Mississippi River Bridge is expected to be completed in 2014 at a cost of $700 million. For the thousands of motorists caught in heavy traffic crossing the Popular Street Bridge during recent unanticipated bridge repair to the I-64 deck near Busch Stadium this week, that day can't come soon enough.


UPDATE:
I-70/Earth City Bridge Repairs CANCELLED Due to Excessive Heat
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), June 28, 2012 - Repairs to the Interstate 70 bridge over Earth City Expressway planned for June 29 through July 1 have been cancelled due to the excessive heat forecasted for the weekend. The 100+ degree forecasts were a danger to the workers due to long shifts and the physical nature of the work.

The bridge repairs will still require two more weekends of closures to lanes on I-70 and ramps to Earth City Expressway. Work is currently planned for the weekend of July 20-22. More details to come on when the other weekend will be scheduled.

For more information on the I-70 Blanchette Bridge work including the bridge repairs at at I-70 and Earth City Expressway, visit www.modot.org/blanchettebridge

MoDOT reminds motorists to slow down in work zones and avoid distractions to keep yourself and the workers safe.


Lane Closures on I-44 at Antire Road to Impact Summer Traffic
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), June 3, 2012 - Lane closures on Interstate 44 at Antire Road will impact motorists for their daily commute this summer.

Starting Saturday, June 2, at 7 p.m., Missouri Department of Transportation crews began shifting two open lanes on westbound Interstate 44 near Antire Road to the eastbound lanes as part of an on-going pavement replacement project between Lewis Road and Route 141. One lane will be closed around the clock in each direction until mid-September.

In addition, the entrance and exit ramps from westbound I-44 to Antire will be closed during the month of June. Drivers heading from Antire Road to westbound I-44 will need to take eastbound I-44 to Route 141 and head back along westbound I-44. Drivers on westbound I-44 heading to Antire Road will need to take westbound I-44 to Lewis Road, head back on eastbound I-44 and exit at Antire Road. All detours will be marked.

Motorists are encouraged to slow down, stay alert and watch out for the highway workers.


MoDOT Plans I-64 Double Deck Rehabilitation Project Map
Map of Interstate 64 Double-Deck bridge, from 21st Street to the Poplar Street, which will be rehabilitated.

MoDOT to Start Major Project on I-64 Double Deck Downtown
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), April 25, 2012 - The Missouri Department of Transportation has begun work on a major project on the I-64 double deck structure in downtown St. Louis that will have major impacts on traffic until the end of the year.

The project will require permanent lane closures on the bridge and several weekend interstate closures throughout 2012, including a closure of westbound I-64 this weekend, starting at 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 27. The interstate will reopen by 9 a.m. Sunday, April 29. This work is weather permitting. The department will open one lane of westbound I-64 on Saturday, April 28 at 10 a.m. to allow for baseball traffic to enter into downtown.

In addition, the ramp from Broadway to westbound I-64 closes April 27 until October. Drivers can use the 10th Street and 14th Street ramps to access the I-64 westbound.

One lane will be closed, around the clock, on westbound I-64 from April 29th to late August. During non-peak hours, crews will have two of the three lanes closed. Work on westbound I-64 will require approximately 10 full weekend closures of the westbound interstate to complete.

Work begins on eastbound I-64 in late August and continues through late October. It will also require a full lane closure, around the clock on eastbound I-64. During non-peak hours, crews will have two of the three lanes closed. Work on eastbound I-64 will also require approximately three full interstate closures.

This work is to remove and replace the driving surface on the double deck portion of I-64 with a new concrete surface; replace the 37 deteriorated expansion joints; and repair remaining drainage structures on and below the bridge decks.

"The double deck is more than 50 years old, and this is part of the preventative maintenance work needed to extend its useful life another 25 years. Our previous jobs over the last ten years on the double deck were to seismically retrofit the structure. Part of this work required us to cut holes in the deck and add additional steel and re-pour the deck in hundreds of locations. Since, this job is now complete, we need a new driving surface to smooth out the ride for motorists and preserve the deck for the future," said Deanna Venker, MoDOT Area Engineer for St. Louis City.

"We understand that this is going to be challenging for morning and evening commuters, and for people who attend downtown events at Busch Stadium. We have a very aggressive schedule with our contractor, so we can complete this project as quickly as possible," she said.

MoDOT urges motorists to plan ahead, take your time and know what you're up against by checking local news sources and the department's Traveler Information Map. Located at www.modot.org, the map gives drivers an up-to-the-minute view of road conditions for major Missouri highways. Conditions for major routes across the state are color-coded to give visitors the information they need at a glance.

Travelers can also call MoDOT's toll-free number, 888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636), to get road condition information.


'Park Over Highway' Project to Improve Access to Arch Grounds
Missouri Department of Transportation officals were on hand for a public meeting, Tuesday afternoon at City Hall, to discuss three alternative plans to improve the flow of pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle traffic between the Arch grounds and downtown St. Louis.

'Park Over Highway' Project to Improve Access to Arch Grounds
Gregory J. Horn, Mississippi River Bridge Project Director, said that motorists coming from the south on I-55/I-44 would still be able to get off at Memorial Drive, but Memorial Drive would no longer go through.
'Park Over Highway' Project to Improve Access to Arch Grounds
Charles and Shirley Drury, owners of Drury Plaza Hotel, took a closer look at alternative plans to improve traffic through downtown St. Louis.
'Park Over Highway' Project to Improve Access to Arch Grounds
Illustration of proposed 'Park Over Highway' project to improve access to the Arch grounds.
Will 'Park Over Highway' Project Improve Access to Arch Grounds?
by Bob Moore, SLFP.com
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), April 10, 2012 - The Gateway Arch has dominated the skyline of downtown St. Louis for nearly 50 years, drawing more than 3 million visitors a year to the massive steel structure that spans 630 feet at ground level.

Over the years, the future of the Arch, its impact on the metropolitan St. Louis area, and public access to surrounding grounds, have been the focus of numerous studies. Recently, an extensive design competition was held by CityArchRiver 2015 to celebrate the Arch's 50th anniversary.

In December 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it was awarding a $20 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to the Missouri Department of Transportation for funding for "roadway improvements along the I-70 corridor road system in St. Louis" including a key component of the CityArchRiver plan, a pedestrian land bridge over I-70 connecting the Old Courthouse, Luther Ely Smith Square and the Gateway Arch grounds.

Today, Missouri Department of Transportation officials held an open-house style meeting for the public to provide input and comments on MoDOT's portion of the CityArchRiver 2015 project.

Engineers from MoDOT were on hand to discuss several proposed alternatives for the Park over the Highway portion and its connection with the new Mississippi River Bridge, currently under construction just north of downtown St. Louis.

According to Gregory J. Horn, Mississippi River Bridge Project Director, MoDOT believes that the preferred alternative for the Park over the Highway structure includes changing access between the existing I-70 and Memorial Drive.

In response to a question regarding the flow of traffic on Memorial Drive and the depressed lanes of I-70, Horn stated that motorists coming from the south on I-55/I-44 would still be able to get off at Memorial Drive, but Memorial Drive would no longer go through. "We are adding another lane to the depressed section of lower I-70 and swapping out the ramp to Washington Avenue. There would actually be two entrances to the city from the south."

Horn stated that motorists entering the city from the north would see dramatic changes in connection with the new Mississippi River Bridge. "We are adding a new ramp exit from I-70 that will provide access from the north to Tucker Blvd and also to Washington Avenue."

The traffic flow into downtown will be changed with motorists coming off the bridge via the Tucker exit. "I-70 is going to be relocated to the new Mississippi River Bridge and that will definitely change traffic patterns through downtown St. Louis for the better."

Horn noted that when the city was built a long time ago, people lived in the north and worked downtown. Since then, the population has shifted and more people live in the south. They come into downtown and then go up to north county to work.

"You will still have that traffic flow through the depressed area, but the highway will be renamed I-44," stated Horn. "People coming from Illinois over the Poplar Street Bridge, will take I-55 south. If they want to go north to the airport, they will take I-70 over the new bridge."

Business owners and developers were also eager to take a closer look at the alternative plans to improve traffic flow downtown and pedestrian access to the Arch grounds.

Charles Drury, owner and developer of the Drury Plaza Hotel at 4th and Market Street, stated that "Anytime you build anything that's of value around a piece of property, it should benefit from it. As far as affecting the hotel's occupancy, it won't make a great deal of difference. We are already in the perfect location."

If you were unable to make it to City Hall, MoDOT is also staging a "virtual" version of the same meeting. You may review the information and leave your comments there. Here is a link:
Park over the Highway Virtual Meeting

See Archived Stories:
Red Dot$20 Million TIGER III Funding to Jump Start CityArchRiver 2015 Project
Red DotFraming a Modern Masterpiece - Winning Team Introduced at Historical Old Courthouse

Gateway Guide Offers Live Views of St. Louis Traffic
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com) - Does your daily commute catch you by surprise? Is it smooth sailing or are there crashes and other incidents on your path home that will cause you delays? Check out MoDOT's new and improved Gatewayguide.com website for live traffic information and alerts before you leave for work or home.

MoDOT's new GatewayGuide.com website shows nearly 300 live camera views updating every couple of seconds, displays real-time information on incidents and work zones with lane closures and is mobile friendly for your smart phone or other cellular device.

"You can sign up for personalized My STL Traffic alerts specific to the highway you use at the times you need it each day," said MoDOT Assistant District Engineer Tom Blair. "These alerts can be sent to you by text or email to the device you choose and will inform you of crashes or other lane closures. Our goal is to keep traffic moving. The better informed you are of current road conditions, the better choices you can make for a quick, safe trip."

The new website provides a tour of camera views from one end of an interstate to the other. It also shows a live Twitter feed from MoDOT's @StLouisTraffic. Check out the new website at www.gatewayguide.com.


Archived News:
Red DotNew Mississippi River Bridge Towers Reach 200 Feet
Red DotI-55 Will Close This Weekend to Remove Holly Hills Bridge
Red DotGrand Bridge to Close from Chouteau Ave to I-64 for Two-Year Project
Red DotMoDOT Plans I-64 Double Deck Rehabilitation Project
Red DotSt. Louis Unveils New Regional Signage to Help Tourists
Red DotMississippi River Bridge Projected as Bridge to the Future of the Region
Red DotBroadway Bridge Over Interstate 70 Reopens
Red DotMoDOT Ramps Up Bridge Work Throughout Area
Red DotRemoval of Madison Avenue Overpass Begins Process for Construction of New Mississippi River Bridge
Red DotRemoval of Cass Avenue Overpass Begins Process for Construction of New Mississippi River Bridge
Red DotMissouri Highway Fatalities Lowest Since 1950
Red DotCan St. Louis Become the Bridge to Somewhere?
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