Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  Officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation will be glad to slam the door on 2011, a year in which the fiscally-challenged agency was forced to close offices, lay off workers, and even sell equipment to cut costs.

But hopes for 2012 are running higher within the agency, with several major projects either continuing or getting underway within the next 12 months.

Bill Schnell, MoDOT’s assistant district engineer for St. Louis, says there will be some very visible progress made on one of the region’s largest ongoing projects, the new Mississippi River Bridge.

“The public will see twin 400-foot towers emerging above the water’s surface,” Schnell explains, adding that ongoing work may lead to delays for some drivers. “There will be some impact on I-70 on the approach by Cass Avenue.

Completion of those towers will mark the halfway point for the $667 million project, which will re-route Interstate 70 over the Mississippi between the MLK and McKinley bridges.

It’s on track for a 2014 completion date.

Next year will also be when the Blanchette Bridge connecting St. Louis and St. Charles Counties will begin receiving its first major facelift in nearly two decades.

Schnell says MoDOT officials are meeting with their contractor right now to finalize blueprints for the project.

“It will involve placing the truss on the westbound span, so all of the traffic on the Blanchette will be split and put on the existing eastbound span,” he points out. “Fortunately going into St. Charles County we have bridges on either side of the Blanchette, 370 to the north and 364/Page Ave. to the south.”

Also in 2012, bids will be let and early stages of work will get underway on a Design-Build project to replace the westbound span of the Daniel Boone Bridge, slated for completion by mid-2016.



Copyright KMOX Radio


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