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Equipment failure causes delays on I-64


By Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio

ST. LOUIS – A contractor for the Missouri Department of Transportation is facing fines after causing major traffic delays in downtown St. Louis Monday.

Thomas Industrial Coating is painting the double-decker section of Interstate 64 through downtown St. Louis. When a piece of equipment that collects lead paint failed around midnight, workers had to do the job by hand.

MoDOT's Tom Blair said that pushed the full opening of the eastbound lanes back three and a half hours and that it was a hassle for motorists stuck in the backup, which ran about two and a half miles from Jefferson to Grand.

"When I get stuck in traffic like that then it seems like it takes a long time to get out of it," Blair said, "Any time it adds to your normal commute it's just, you know, I need to be at work, I need to be some place."

Thomas Industrial Coating will face penalties for the delay. Blair did not know the exact dollar amount.

"We want some guarantee that this is not going to happen again before we allow them to do a full closure of I-64," Blair said, "Because they still want to do at least one more full closure of I-64 to be able to get this bridge painting done."

Blair said that Thomas was able to finish the work it was scheduled to do, so the project itself was not set back.


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