ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation confirm to KMOX News that they are taking a closer look as possible safety upgrades after a series of semi truck crashes on the west end of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.
“This has caught our attention, absolutely,” said Michelle Forneris, MoDOT Area Engineer. “We are working with our law enforcement partners to get more information as to what has contributed to these crashes. Is it speed or is it unsecured loads?”
The crash Saturday involved a semi that was rounding a sharp, downward curve that leads from the western exit of the bridge onto Tucker Blvd.
There was no information made available on any injuries, but access to Tucker Blvd. from the Illinois side was shut down for several hours as crews worked to unload the wrecked semi and get it back upright.
It was the second crash of a truck in that section of the bridge in less than a week.
If it does turn out that an overlooked flaw in the original design of the bridge is contributing to the string of crashes, Forneris explained there are several steps that could be taken.
“We can look at adding signage farther back to alert drivers and give them a little more time to see that they should be reducing their speeds in order to maneuver around these ramps,” she said. “We also reach out to law enforcement if speeds are too high.”
She pointed out it’s similar to measures that were taken on ramps leading on and off the Poplar Street Bridge following a series of truck crashes.
“Safety is MoDOT’s top priority,” according to Forneris. “We have reached out to our partners in law enforcment to understand the circumstances that have contributed to these crashes.”
She said when they’re supplied with that information a decision will be made as to what, if any, safety upgrades need to be made.
The $667 million “Stan Span” opened to traffic on February 9, 2014.