A collection of federal, state and local officials celebrated the completion of the relocated Route 141 project and the Page-Olive Connector.
The project’s completion opens up 24-miles of unimpeded traffic from Interstate 55 at the south to Highway 370 at the north.
Earlier today, joggers and bicyclists were allowed to leisurely peddle and jog down the stretch of new roadway before officially opening to traffic.
St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley said the plans have been on the books for at least 50-years, and there were times when no one thought it would be completed.
Now, he said, the roadway will open thousands of acres up to economic development in the county.
“You think about where 141 is at right now, it’s actually at the center of the region," Dooley said. "More than 50,000 cars go by the area every day, that's huge."
Dooley also said they met all participation standards for minority and women owned businesses while completing the project.
The price tag for the whole project was more than $140 million, with $20 million of that coming from federal stimulus money, according to officials.
Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) District Engineer for St. Louis, Ed Hassinger, said given the project's size and cost, collaboration was the only way to get it done.
“This is just one of those projects where it took the county, a lot of the municipalities, MODOT and a lot of our partners to get it done. Because it’s big, it’s complex and it costs a lot of money," Hassinger said. "But, the county and us were really the two partners that put the pieces together to make this thing happen.”
Hassinger said in addition to speeding up commutes, the new roadway will give motorists an option when there’s a problem on Interstate 270, which runs parallel to Route 141.