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The Missouri Department of Transportation closed the Jefferson Barracks Bridge Sunday evening after a routine inspection found emergency repairs were needed.

The westbound bridge lanes will remain closed through Monday morning rush hour, MoDOT spokesman Marie Elliott said, and it’s too soon to know how long the westbound bridge lanes will remain closed. The bridge carries about 60,000 motorist each day, 30,000 in each direction, MoDOT says.

Inspection crews found cracks in steel beams in the bridge about 4 p.m. Sunday, said MoDOT bridge engineer Joe Molinaro. The bridge over the Mississippi River will be closed to traffic until crews determine what repairs will be needed. The bridge was built in 1985.

MoDOT is also closing all but one westbound lane of Interstate 44 at Grand Boulevard after a stormwater grate collapsed about 2:30 p.m. Sunday. That, too, will impact Monday’s rush hour, Elliott said.

The westbound Jefferson Barracks Bridge closure will close Interstate 255 from Illinois Route 3 in Columbia to Koch Road in St. Louis County.

Metro East commuters should use the Poplar Street Bridge at Illinois Route 3 as a detour to get into Missouri.

Editor's note: The Missouri Department of Transportation said Wednesday the Jefferson Barracks Bridge carries about 60,000 vehicles each day — 30,000 westbound and about 30,000 eastbound. This story was corrected to reflect that information.

Jacob Barker is a business reporter for the Post-Dispatch. 314-340-8291

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