Major repairs and lane closures on the westbound span of the Blanchette Bridge are set to begin in late fall 2012, according to announcement today from the Missouri Department of Transportation. The bridge is a major artery for Interstate 70 over the Missouri River, connecting the St. Charles and St. Louis areas.
Here's an overview of the coming changes:
- As the westbound bridge will be closed for repairs, traffic will be diverted to lanes on the eastbound span of the bridge. Three lanes will be heading east and three will be heading west. The lanes will be divided by a concrete barrier.
- The speed limit on the bridge will be reduced to 45 mph and the lanes will be narrow, 11 feet wide, with no shoulders.
In case you'd like to avoid the area completely, here are some alternative routes to do so:
MoDOT St. Louis District engineer Ed Hassinger says they've been working with local businesses and first responders for over a year to try to spread awareness of the closures and suggest alternative work schedules to ease rush hour traffic.
“We encourage major employers especially those with many employees who travel from St. Charles County to consider allowing flextime and alternate work hours and locations,” Hassinger said. “This isn’t a full closure like the I-64 project, but all the same preparations need to be made to ensure everyone has a plan for how they will cope with the extra congestion on I-70 during peak hours.”
In order to prepare for the bridge closure, preliminary construction will begin in the area around the bridge in summer 2012. The work on the bridge is expected to take less than one year.