Illinois Department of Transportation

Jason Rojas | Flickr

Law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Mississippi River are out in force this weekend to try and keep a deadly trend in check. Historically Labor Day weekend is one of the deadliest holidays to travel in both Missouri and Illinois.

Martin Luther King Bridge connects Illinois and downtown St. Louis. It was built in 1951.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Traffic over the Mississippi River to and from downtown St. Louis is being redirected again. The Martin Luther King Bridge closes for repairs Monday at 9 a.m. It will remain closed for at least four months.

The Illinois Department of Transportation originally planned to close MLK Bridge on July 6, but held off until the Missouri Department of Transportation reopened all lanes of the Poplar Street Bridge.

(via Flickr/Zahlm)

If you’re headed from downtown to East St. Louis over the next 9 days, expect traffic.

Eastbound I-64 will be closed from the I-55/70/64 split to 25th Street in East St. Louis. 

The closure starts tonight at 9 p.m.  The interstate is scheduled to reopen on Monday, Sept. 23.

Advice from the Illinois Department of Transportation:

  • Expect delays, especially during rush hour
  • Use the designated detour on eastbound I-55/70 to southbound I-255
  • Try to use alternate routes
  • Use public transit whenever possible
(Erin Williams/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 3:43 p.m. and 3:53 p.m.

Three and a half years after the project began, the structural work is done on the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River.

Members of Ironworkers Local 396 maneuvered the 30,000-pound steel girder into place on Friday, officially connecting the $667 million bridge that will carry Interstate 70 over the river.

Watch its last few movements:

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

The Illinois Department of Transportation and labor unions have signed off on an agreement that sets requirements for state-funded bridge and road projects.

Union and church leaders met with Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider at the new Mississippi River Bridge Wednesday, celebrating the new Project Labor Agreement that will set standards for minority and female participation.

via Flickr/binkle_28

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has promised his state's share of the $80 million needed to widen and upgrade the Poplar Street Bridge.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

The East-West Gateway Council of Governments has signed off on a set of upgrades to the Poplar Street Bridge.

The improvements include a two-lane ramp from northbound I-55 and the addition of a fifth eastbound lane to the bridge.

Jim Wild is the Assistant Executive Director at East-West. He says the way the bridge is currently constructed leads to daily traffic backups.

"As you go eastbound on I-64, we drop from 3 lanes down to two lanes, and then it increases to 4 lanes over the bridge and that creates a choke point," Wild said.

HDR Engineering

Illinois and Missouri officials appear to agree on a series of phased upgrades to the Poplar Street Bridge.

The plan would add a third eastbound I-64 lane over the bridge, as well as provide a two-lane onramp from northbound I-55.

MoDOT District Engineer Ed Hassinger says the $80 million in upgrades will go a long way toward smoothing the flow of traffic over the Mississippi.   

(via Flickr/Be.Futureproof)

Starting today, motorists in Illinois will see safe driving messages on the state's digital road signs.

The campaign from the Illinois Department of Transportation is an effort to reduce the number of fatal accidents in the state. So far this year, 479 people have died on Illinois roads, compared with 418 by the same time last year.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Plans to re-route Interstate 70 over the new Mississippi River Bridge are facing a roadblock from stakeholders in the Metro East. The $55 million project includes eliminating the east-bound ramp that connects Interstates 70 and 44 to the Poplar Street Bridge.

St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern told the East-West Gateway Council of Governments Wednesday that cutting access to the bridge would strangle an already struggling economy.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Victim of tent collapse died of blunt force trauma

The St. Louis medical examiner says a man who was killed when a tent collapsed near Busch Stadium on Saturday died of blunt force trauma.

58-year-old Alfred Goodman of Waterloo, Ill., was the only fatality when a party tent at Kilroy’s Sports Bar blew apart in a violent thunderstorm. 100 people were treated at the scene, and another 16 taken to local hospitals.

(via Flickr/Be.Futureproof)

The Quinn administration says it will repair 2,300 miles of road and 500 bridges over the next six years as it uses the last dollars from a massive public-works program.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced the latest update to its road plan Monday. It calls for spending $9.2 billion by the year 2018.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

More than $44 million in federal transportation money is headed to Illinois for two projects in the Chicago area and one in Alton in southern Illinois.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is to announce the funding Thursday at a Chicago "L" station with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It's part of more than a half-billion dollars in federal transportation funding for 46 projects in 33 states.


The Ill. Dept. of Transportation (IDOT) and Ill. State Police want drivers to be prepared for winter weather. Both agencies have launched the annual "Ice and Snow-Take it Slow" campaign.

Joe Monroe, operation engineer with IDOT, says during a winter storm drivers should use common sense and postpone trips that aren't necessary. If you do have to get out, allow plenty of time to get to your destination and stay behind plows.

(map courtesy of the Illinois Dept. of Transportation)

State and federal officials held a meeting in Alton Thursday on plans to upgrade train tracks between St. Louis and Chicago to allow for high-speed service.

Work is already underway to improve tracks and road crossings in Illinois to allow for higher-speed trains three times per day. But Mike Garcia with the Illinois Department of Transportation says officials want to be able offer more service through their partner, Amtrak.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed a new leader for the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Quinn on Monday named Ann Schneider to be secretary of the state transportation department. Schneider has been acting secretary since July and previously was chief of operations for the department. Schneider also was chief fiscal officer for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and in the Governor's Office of Management and Budget.

The governor also named John Holton as director of the Illinois Department on Aging.

Quinn also made other appointments, including:

(via Flickr/Zahlm)

It's going to be another tough weekend to get into and out of downtown St. Louis.

Flickr/Mid-America Public Safety Police/Fire

Police and transportation officials in Mo. and Ill. plan to boost enforcement over the Memorial Day weekend.

The Missouri Highway Patrol will again participate in Operation C.A.R.E (Combined Accident Reduction Effort.) Troopers will be on alert for all traffic offenses, especially aggressive and impaired drivers.

(via Flickr/photohome_uk)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Luke Runyon used in this report.

The Illinois Department of Transportation doesn't keep statistics on accidents unless a moving car is involved.  That's why Ed Barsotti with the League of Illinois Bicyclists says "dooring" was invisible in state record books.

(via Flickr/Mykl Roventine)

Officials with the Missouri and Illinois Departments of Transportation are joining efforts to highlight Work Zone Safety Week, which begins today and runs through Friday.

With the start of spring in St. Louis, crews will be increasing construction efforts, patching potholes and resurfacing roads.

Ed Hassinger is district engineer with MoDOT. He says last year in St. Louis there were 2,500 accidents in work zones and eight people died.