Poplar Street Bridge

Construction around the Poplar Street Bridge will lead to closures on much of the interstates downtown this weekend. MoDOT suggests using detours.
Courtesy MoDOT

The Missouri Department of Transportation is urging drivers to avoid the area around the Poplar Street Bridge this weekend because portions of Interstates 44 and 55 will be closed downtown.

From Friday at 8 p.m. to Monday at 5 a.m., lanes in both directions will be closed from 7th and Park to the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. One ramp off eastbound I-44 near the Old Cathedral downtown will stay closed until January 21. 

The Missouri House has voted to name part of a bridge over the Mississippi River at St. Louis for former U.S. House member William L. Clay.
 
The designation would honor the Democratic congressman who represented St. Louis in the House for 16 terms. He was first elected in 1968.
 
The Missouri House bill would put Clay's name on the Missouri portion of the Poplar Street Bridge, which carries Interstates 55, 64 and 70 between downtown St. Louis and southwestern Illinois. Private donations would pay for signs with Clay's name.
 

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.

(Creative Commons photo)

People trying to get into downtown St. Louis this weekend will again have some traffic issues to deal with. 

For the second straight week, the Missouri Department of Transportation will shut down all westbound lanes of Interstate 64 from the Poplar Street Bridge to 21stStreet. In addition, the Broadway, 10thStreet and 14thStreet entrance ramps will also be shut down. MoDOT crews are still replacing the driving surface on the double-deck, elevated highway.

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/Zahlm)

The Missouri Department of Transportation will be closing nearly all lanes of Interstate 64 leading on and off the Poplar Street Bridge Saturday.

Expect extra drive-time, says MoDOT engineer Deanna Venker, if you're driving over the Poplar Street Bridge this Saturday. Venker says all westbound and two eastbound lanes on I-64 will close between I-55 and Jefferson Ave.

"We are doing bridge deck repair, we will also be doing seismic retrofitting at the western edge of the bridge and we are replacing bearings on the eastern side of the bridge," Venker said.

(via Flickr/Zahlm)

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

View I-70 Downtown Closure - Oct. 6-12 2011 in a larger map

A map of the closure area can be seen above.

Heading to the Roger Daltry concert at the Peabody or the Blues' opening game this weekend? Or were you thinking of cruising around downtown for any other reason from Oct. 6-12? Well, if your travel plans include using Interstate 70 between 10th St. and the Poplar Street Bridge, we offer the friendly suggestion to find an alternate route.

(via Flickr/jphilipg)

If you're driving in the St. Louis area this weekend, be patient. The Missouri Department of Transportation will have a lot of crews out there, and that means lane closures.

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