Interstate 55 will be closed from Carondelet to Broadway this weekend to allow for the removal of the Holly Hills Bridge.
Interstate 55 from Carondelet to Broadway will be closed in both directions this weekend as the Missouri Department of Transportation demolishes the Holly Hills Bridge.
The project is part of the Interstate 55 Bridge Replacement Project, which also includes the reconstruction of the Delor Bridge, which got underway last month. The total cost of replacing both bridges is $3 million.
Motorists traveling around downtown St. Louis will see traffic backups and delays this weekend as the Missouri Department of Transportation is packing a laundry list of repairs into one, two-day stretch.
MoDOT is making a variety of lane and ramp repairs starting at Grand Boulevard and stretching to the Poplar Street Bridge.
The repairs come during the same weekend that 25,000 runners will be coming downtown for the GO! St. Louis Marathon.
Sleet and freezing rain is causing numerous accidents this morning, including one involving multiple vehicles. The ice storm began just before 5 a.m. and caused accidents throughout the region. The worst was on Interstate 64 near downtown St. Louis, where more than 20 cars and a couple of semis slid on ice. Ambulances and fire trucks responding to the scene were involved in the accident. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Fire Capt. Dan Sutter says 21 people were injured in the accident, one critically. Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. Jeff Wilson said troopers responded to up to 60 accidents in St. Charles, Lincoln and St. Louis counties. Officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation says the icy conditions caught them a bit off guard. Assistant district engineer Tom Blair says crews were out patching potholes when they received word that freezing rain could be moving into the area.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is receiving about $216,000 from the federal government to study the condition of old, closed landfills in rural communities. The agency says many older landfills did not have to meet modern environmental standards, and many were not closed properly. The Department of Natural Resources says it will use the findings to train cities on how to maintain the closed dumps or buy and sell properties with landfills on them. The department wants to make sure the landfills don't pollute nearby water resources or otherwise harm the environment.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. and three others will face off April 5 in the general election after last night's mayoral primary. Parks received 47 percent of the vote. Councilman Delbert Marion was second with 25 percent and former Mayor Carl Edward Officer finished third with 24 percent. The Post-Dispatch reports that voter turnout was about 25 percent. The election comes as layoffs burden the city's police and the murder rate continues to rise.
As of today, the Missouri Department of Transportation has used plows and salt spreaders like these to spread more than 20,000 tons of salt and other materials on roads to fight this week's major winter storms. (Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)
Snow plows stand at the ready for the Missouri Department of Transportation. The National Weather Service is predicting another snowfall of 3-6 inches for the St. Louis area beginning this afternoon. (Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)
MoDOT crews began treating roads last night with a salt brine mix. Bruce Pettus, maintenance superintendent for MoDOT, says as the snow begins to fall, conditions will begin to deteriorate during rush hour traffic, making it difficult for crews to clear the roads.
"That's why we're asking the motorists to minimize travel, maybe leave a little early from work. And make that commute before we get accumulating snow. And then this evening, do the same thing, minimize travel. We're gonna have all of our forces on the road, but it'll just allow us more space to work."
Pettus says MoDOT will have over 200 trucks on the road once the snow begins to accumulate.
A former CIA agent is jailed after allegedly leaking classified information about Iran to a New York Times reporter. Jeffrey Sterling, 43, of O'Fallon, Mo. is charged in a ten count indictment. The federal indictment charges Sterling with unauthorized disclosure of national defense information. The indictment did not specify what he leaked, but The Associated Press reports the leaks were to Pulitizer Prize winning journalist James Risen for his 2008 book State of War. The book details information about the CIA's covert spy war in Iran.
Some Missouri legislators want to limit the growth of the state's minimum wage. A 2006 law approved by Missouri voters requires the state's minimum wage to be adjusted annually with inflation. But if the federal minimum wage is higher, then that is used instead. Republic House member Jerry Nolte, of Gladstone, has filed legislation prohibiting the Missouri minimum wage from rising above the federal one. The bill has the backing of several other Republicans, as well as a coalition of business groups. Nolte says it's important for Missouri businesses to keep wages comparable to those of most neighboring states. Missouri currently follows the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The state labor department says Missouri's wage this year would otherwise be $7.00 per hour.
People who want a state ballot initiative that could lead to early voting have a green light from the state to start gathering signatures. The Missouri secretary of state's office approved a summary of the initiative petition yesterday. Supporters must collect between 91,800 and 99,600 signatures, and the question would appear on the 2012 ballot. The proposal would change Missouri law to let voters cast ballots in person before federal general elections.
The Missouri Department of Transportation says the westbound lanes of the Daniel Boone bridge will close for maintenance from about 8 or 9 p.m. tonight until around 5 a.m. Monday. The bridge carries Interstate 64 traffic over the Missouri River. Drivers are encouraged to use one of three other bridges that cross the river in the St. Louis area - on Interstate 70, Route 364 or Highway 370. The work is preventative maintenance on the Boone bridge, which carries about 75,000 cars daily.