Commuters are taking a while to warm up to the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River.
Traffic on the bridge, which carries I-70 north of downtown St. Louis, is estimated to reach 40,000 vehicles a day eventually. But after an initial spike, the bridge saw traffic volume of about 28,000 vehicles a day during its first week of regular use.
Joseph Monroe with the Illinois Department of Transportation says engineers expect it to take some time for motorists to change their routine.
“I think once the weather improves we’ll see that number slowly grow as the bridge becomes more of a known quantity and people are more comfortable venturing off their routine,” Monroe said.
The new bridge has resulted in decreased backups on the MLK Bridge and smooth traffic flow into downtown St. Louis, Monroe says. He adds that one underrated benefit of the bridge is that
motorists won’t be as drastically affected when other Mississippi River bridges undergo maintenance work this year.