Commuters are taking a while to warm up to the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River.
Traffic on the bridge, which carries I-70 north of downtown St. Louis, is estimated to reach 40,000 vehicles a day eventually. But after an initial spike, the bridge saw traffic volume of about 28,000 vehicles a day during its first week of regular use.
Joseph Monroe with the Illinois Department of Transportation says engineers expect it to take some time for motorists to change their routine.
After four years under construction and more than a decade of planning, the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge will open for traffic Sunday, February 9. And when the bridge opens, so does another option for drivers making the commute across the Mississippi.
“What we anticipate is about 20 percent of the traffic coming off Poplar Street, about 50 percent coming off MLK/Eads,” Randy Hitt of the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River is slated to open early next year.
As part of St. Louis Public Radio's series of reports on the region's aging infrastructure called "How We Move," Julie Bierach spoke with Jerry Blair with the East-West Gateway Council about how the $667 million bridge will impact travel in the St. Louis region.
She began by asking him when they started planning for a new bridge.