Some drivers who normally use Interstate 64 to get downtown will have to find alternate routes this weekend.
Weather permitting, the Missouri Department of Transportation will shut down a portion of Interstate 64 at 8 p.m. Friday to demolish the bridges carrying Taylor and Newstead avenues over the highway.
Eastbound traffic will have to exit at Hampton, and westbound traffic at Forest Park Avenue.
(See the map of the detour here)
The highway should re-open by 3 a.m. Monday, but motorists will face narrower lanes that have been shifted toward the center of the highway.
"Give yourself enough time in the area, slow, down, watch our construction signs and our construction workers," says MoDOT's area engineer, Deanna Venker.
This weekend’s closure is the first of three required for an $18 million project that includes new bridges, interchanges, and driving surfaces. Washington University and BJC HealthCare are covering about half of that cost.
This weekend is also the kick-off of Mardi Gras season in Soulard. But Mack Bradley, with Mardi Gras Inc., says it's always been easier to get to Soulard using other interstates.
"Plus, we went through at least two complete Mardi Gras seasons with I-64 closed, so we think people know how to get around St. Louis," he said.
Taylor and Newstead avenues will re-open in November. The entire project must be finished by the end of 2014.