By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – Northbound Brentwood Boulevard was the biggest headache for drivers this morning as commutes returned to normal after the holidays.
It's the first real rush hour since the Missouri Department of Transportation shut down the eastern half of the Interstate 64 reconstruction. MoDOT engineers say traffic was back to normal on the interstates, including the re-opened stretch of I-64, and that it flowed well.
Travel times on Brentwood from Manchester to the Galleria nearly doubled. St. Louis County streets director Sheryl Hodges attributed some of the backup to GPS units drivers got for the holidays.
"So they were traveling northbound on Hanley, using their new GPS, and their new GPS told them that Hanley was closed north of Manchester, and it diverted them Manchester to Brentwood," she said.
Traffic delays will be similar tonight if drivers don't start using alternate routes, said MoDOT assistant district engineer Tom Blair.
"St. Louis County can't handle all the Hanley traffic on Brentwood, simply put," he said. "So we need to use some of the detours to get around, and I'd say don't wait until tomorrow morning."
St. Louis County will adjust signal timing on Brentwood, Hodges said. But she and MoDOT officials are encouraging people to access Clayton for Interstate 170, or take MetroLink. MoDOT is reminding drivers that they cannot make left-hand turns onto Dale from either north or southbound Hanley. U-turns are also not allowed on Hanley.