ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – There’s a new wrinkle to the ongoing debate over removing a downtown on-ramp and “sliding” the eastbound lanes of the Poplar Street Bridge.

The eastbound portion of the Poplar Street Bridge would actually be moved nine feet south over a long weekend once the new Mississippi River Bridge opens in 2014.

Missouri Department of Transportation District Engineer Ed Hassinger calls the plan, put forward by an independent consultant, “an elegant solution” to the problem.

“It also addresses the issues I have with Route 3 so it puts all the pieces together, sets up for the future,” Hassinger said.

He says the PSB would still be safe after sliding south to make room for a fifth lane, maybe even moreso.

Leaders from both sides of the Mississippi seem happy with the plan, including Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan.

“It proves that Illinois was maybe correct in looking back and stopping this a little back, looking at alternatives,” Dunstan said. “This alternative is better for Missouri, better for Illinois. I think everyone should be happy about this.”

A final decision on the plan is set for later this month.


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