ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Look for surface repair work on WB I-64 downtown to tie up traffic for another day Tuesday, before traffic patterns return to normal by Wednesday.
That’s the latest word from Deanna Venker, MoDOT area engineer, who provided a midday update on the work Monday.
“What we anticipate at this point is that we will be open to two lanes (on WB I-64) by morning rush hour of Wednesday,” Venker explained.
Of course that means that Tuesday morning will be another trial for commuters trying to cross the Mississippi River from Illinois.
Once again, one lane of traffic will remain open from 5 am to 10 am Tuesday, before all westbound I-64 lanes from Broadway to 21st St. are shut down to allow crews to work on the resurfacing project.
“About 30 years ago is the last time we did a surface treatment on this deck,” Venker said. “And that’s the black surface that you see up there now. So what we’re doing is ‘milling off’ that black surface.”
As crews were doing that over the weekend they noticed that they could see right through the bridge deck to the ground below in many places, forcing MoDOT to extend the planned repairs.
“We apologize for any delay that we’re causing you,” Venker said when asked what she would tell commuters. “We ask you to bear with us here. We will get it back open by Wednesday (morning) rush hour.”
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Westbound Interstate 64 carrying traffic from Illinois to Missouri will have to deal with only one lane being open until ten Monday morning.
MoDOT engineer Ed Hassinger says due to the poor condition of the double deck structure on the Missouri side of the Poplar Street Bridge, crews will need an extra day— or maybe longer to make repairs, “We were going to try and repair all the bad spots, cover it back up, and have a riding surface ready for you Monday morning. There’s just too much bad stuff there, and no way we can get it ready for Monday morning.”
Hassinger recommends taking a detour, “The ramps will still be open to 70 and 55, but really we’d suggest people using the Martin Luther King Bridge, or going north to the Chain of Rocks, or going south to Jefferson Barracks.”
MoDOT also suggests using Metro Transit to get from Illinois to Missouri while the highway is shut down.