Some drivers headed into downtown St. Louis are in for a complicated route beginning this weekend.
The Missouri Department of Transportation is closing the westbound Poplar Street Bridge ramp leading to Interstate 55/44 south for a month, starting Thursday night.
At that time, MoDOT also will close the two left lanes on the westbound Poplar Street Bridge and reopen two recently resurfaced right lanes. Once the lane shift is completed and after work this weekend, drivers can use the new ramp from westbound Poplar Street Bridge to I-44 eastbound, make a U-turn at Washington and head south on I-55 southbound.
Drivers should look for well-marked detour signs to navigate around the closure, said MoDOT area engineer Michelle Voegele.
"For alternate routes, use the Stan Musial Memorial Bridge, the MLK Bridge and the Eads Bridge, or if you are coming down for the Cards game, use Metrolink. Otherwise we are encouraging drivers to avoid this area," she said. "We need motorists if you are coming into downtown area to be alert."
Drivers coming from Illinois can also go around the entire area by using Interstate 255 to I-270, she said.
During the month-long closure, MoDOT crews will replace the previous single-lane exit with a two-lane ramp.
There will also be other interstate ramp closures downtown in the next several days. The ramp off eastbound I-44 to Walnut will be closed for a week until June 4; drivers will have to use the Washington exit to get downtown.
Additionally this weekend, all lanes and ramps of I-44 in both directions between the Tucker ramp and 7th and Park will be closed. Also closed will be the lanes and ramps on northbound I-55 from Gravois to the Poplar Street Bridge. During the same time, MoDOT is also closing several ramps from westbound I-64 into downtown.
MoDOT has released the following detours:
- "For interstate drivers and truckers heading through Missouri, use I-64 to get into downtown. For those heading to Illinois, use I-64, or I-270/I-255 to avoid the closure on I-55 and I-44.
- From eastbound I-70 to eastbound I-64, use the Tucker ramp (Exit 249B) and take Tucker, turn left on Chouteau and turn left on 6th Street toward the I-64 EB on ramp at 6th Street.
- From eastbound I-70 to southbound I-55, drivers should use the Tucker ramp (Exit 249B) and take Tucker through the city and stay on Gravois to get to southbound I-55.
- From eastbound I-70 to westbound I-44, use the Tucker ramp (Exit 249B) and take Tucker through the city, turn right on Lafayette and take the ramp to westbound I-44.
- Drivers on eastbound I-70 heading to Illinois should use the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.
- From northbound I-55 to eastbound I-64, take Gravois (Exit 207A) until it becomes Tucker, turn right on Chouteau and left on 6th Street to get on eastbound I-64 at the 6th Street ramp.
- From northbound I-55 to eastbound 70, take Gravois (Exit 207A) until it becomes Tucker, follow Tucker to I-70 eastbound and use the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.
- From northbound I-55 to westbound I-70, take Gravois (Exit 207A) until it becomes Tucker, turn right on Cass, turn left on Broadway and turn left at North Market. Turn right to get onto the westbound I-70 ramp at 10th Street.
- From eastbound I-44 to eastbound I-64, drivers can exit at Park and 7th (Exit 290C), turn right on Park then left on Broadway. Then turn left at the signal at Chouteau, followed by a right on 6th Street to access eastbound I-64.
- From eastbound I-44 to I-70, drivers can exit at Park and 7th (Exit 290C), turn right on Park then left on Broadway. Drivers will continue on 4th Street to Convention Plaza and cross under I-44 and enter onto I-70 in either the east or west direction."