I-64 downtown
4:48 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Westbound I-64 through downtown will open by Thursday

Drivers coming into St. Louis from Illinois are about to get some relief from a summer of traffic congestion.

At least one lane of the double-deck structure that takes Interstate 64 through downtown has been closed through the spring and summer as crews replaced the driving surface.  Crews from the Missouri Department of Transportation will start removing the concrete barriers from the westbound lanes of I-64 through downtown tonight. All of the lanes and ramps should be open by Friday morning.

"We will still have a few lane closures over off-peak hours so we can finish milling the surface and restripe the lanes up there, but overall we are just about done in the westbound direction," MoDOT area engineer Deanna Venker said.

At the same time, MoDOT will close lanes on the eastbound side for the same type of work. But Venker says that pavement repair shouldn't take as long.

"It's almost the same type of work that we have down there, but the condition of the bridge surface is so much better," Venker said. "The westbound is exposed to much more elements, and salt, and so forth."

Venker says by Nov. 1, all lanes of that double-deck structure should be open in both directions for the first time in at least a decade.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann