Blanchette Bridge

Good news if your commute takes you across the Blanchette Bridge, the $64 million rehabilitation effort has is almost completed and all east and west bound lanes are now open to traffic. 

Missouri Department of Transportation Spokeswoman Linda Wilson-Horn says crews are wrapping up road work two months ahead of schedule.

“It was a huge undertaking," Wilson-Horn says.  "To watch them completely remove the bridge and completely rebuild it in ten months was an amazing process.”

Months of detours and lane closures on the Blanchette Bridge could be coming to an end as early as next week.

Starting Monday night, crews will close one east-bound lane between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. through the workweek. Crews will then close up to two eastbound lanes across the bridge over the weekend.

Barring an unforeseen delay, Missouri Department of Transportation Spokeswoman Linda Wilson-Horn says they hope have the things back to normal on Monday next week.

(via Missouri Department of Transportation)

Commuters who take Interstate 70 across the Missouri River got good news today from the Missouri Department of Transportation - the new westbound span of the Blanchette bridge will be open by August, three months ahead of schedule.

(via St. Louis Public Radio Flickr Group/User atomic playboy)

A big explosion has sent the final two sections of the westbound Blanchette Bridge into the Missouri River.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Department of Transportation Engineer for St. Charles County, Tom Evers, stood in a parking lot overlooking the Blanchette Bridge on Sunday morning.

For a guy who builds stuff for a living, he was pretty excited to help blow something up.  

“It is very cool to blow things up, I must admit,” Evers said, laughing.  “I’m excited about putting it back to together, but this is definitely a cool event.”

Three days after the closure of the westbound lanes of the I-70 Blanchette Bridge, officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation say traffic continues to move smoothly.

However, they are concerned that motorists are falling back into old habits.

Linda Wilson Horn with MoDOT says they’ve seen a steady increase in drivers traveling I-70.

(St. Louis Public Radio photo)

This morning marked the first rush hour since all westbound lanes of the Blanchette Bridge were closed late yesterday afternoon for a year-long construction project.

(St. Louis Public Radio photo)

St. Charles city officials are hoping the year-long Blanchette Bridge roadwork that starts this weekend won’t have too much of a negative impact on its stores, casino and restaurants . 

Beginning at 8 p.m. this evening, three eastbound lanes on the Blanchette Bridge will be closed.

The lanes will be re-opened by 5 a.m. on Sunday. At least two eastbound lanes will stay open to traffic throughout the weekend.

Linda Wilson Horn with the Missouri Department of Transportation says they do expect backups as motorists coming from St. Charles County try to get across the bridge.

“We are restriping the bridge to get ready for what will be a major impact starting two weekends from now," said Wilson Horn.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

We recognize today as the anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Please see our resources for stories related to that commemoration here.

Mo. judge to hear case against worship disruption law

A federal judge will hear arguments today in a lawsuit over Missouri's new law making it a crime to disturb a worship service.

Attorneys for the ACLU are seeking a temporary injunction to block the law that took effect last month.

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Motorists on Interstate 70 will get a little taste - starting this weekend - of what life will be like when the westbound lanes of the busy Blanchette Bridge are closed in November.

(via Flickr/Missouri Department of Transportation)

Updated at 3:30 p.m. MoDOT has opened the westbound lanes of 364 between Harvester and Mid Rivers Mall Dr.  

Updated at 2:35 p.m. The eastbound lanes of 364 between Harvester and Mid Rivers Mall Dr. are now open. A piece of equipment used to paint stripes is malfunctioning, which will delay the opening of the westbound lanes until after rush hour tonight.

Our earlier story:

Drivers in the St. Louis region can now take Route 364 all the way to Mid Rivers Mall Dr.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Fraternity removes GOP campaign banner after hearing from Nixon staffer

A fraternity at the University of Missouri Columbia has removed a campaign banner of Republican gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence from its house after Gov. Jay Nixon’s communications director raised concerns.

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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.

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A friendly reminder to St. Charles drivers - overnight lane closures will start on the Blanchette Bridge tonight.

The closures are needed in preparation for the major rehabilitation of the bridge's westbound span, which is expected to start in 2012. The current work will move utilities from the westbound bridge to the eastbound lanes.

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The Missouri Department of Transportation announced today that a company out of Chicago, Walsh Construction Company, has been awarded the $62.7 million contract to repair and replace portions of the Blanchette Bridge. 

The bridge, which spans the Missouri River along with St. Louis and St. Charles Counties, was built in 1958 and needs major repairs, MoDOT said.