St. Louis (KMOX) – After saving tons of money on a pricey project, the Missouri Department of Transportation is ready to celebrate.
On Friday, MoDOT will open a redesigned interchange at I-270 and Page Ave. with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m.
Project Director Lee Hillner believes rush hour congestion caused a demand to fix the interchange.
“Basically, as traffic patterns increased on the Page extension and across the river on the bridge that was built several years ago, the bottleneck has been created at the clover leaf that exists at 270 and Page,” he says.
“This project will provide relief, especially to Northbound 270 by removing that weave that exists between those two tight clover leaf ramps.”
And the drivers aren’t the only ones getting relief out of this project. MoDOT itself would have unnecessarily spent more than $2 million dollars if their contractor, Fred Weber Inc., hadn’t provided an alternative, cheaper design.
Fred Weber decided to use a circular outline instead of the original flyover design that was first proposed. The project saved the state time and money by eliminating the need for bridge columns and elevated construction. It also kept traffic moving.
“It was a very innovative idea that our contractor came up with,” Hillner says. “We were excited about saving that money and reducing the impact on traffic during construction.”
Saving money is a big deal to the cash strapped MoDOT; they’re still looking for funds to make another ramp at the same location that allows westbound drivers on Page to go south on I-270.
But the celebration on Friday will be about accomplishments, and Hillner thinks the interchange was not only a great design, but a landmark for the state.
“It was the biggest value engineering job in Missouri’s history,” he says.
Copyright KMOX 2011