ST. LOUIS — Crews will begin closing lanes of Interstate 70 across the Missouri River on Monday in preparation for the upcoming rehabilitation of the eastbound Blanchette Memorial Bridge.
The Missouri Department of Transportation said two eastbound right lanes will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily Monday through Friday next week. Two westbound right lanes will also be closed from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Anticipating traffic delays because of the closings, MoDOT is recommending that motorists traveling between St. Charles and St. Louis counties use these alternatives: Route 370, Route 364 or Highway 40 (I-64).
The following week, crews will prepare for the upcoming traffic switch that will move two eastbound lanes onto the westbound bridge. That will leave three westbound lanes until November.
Starting at 8 p.m. Feb. 21:
• Two left eastbound lanes and two left westbound lanes will be closed overnight for crews to place traffic barriers to prepare for the traffic switch.
• By 6 a.m. Saturday morning one left lane in both directions will be closed and will remain closed for up to three weeks.
During the week of Feb. 24:
• Crews will have up to two left eastbound lanes closed from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Two left westbound lanes will be closed from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For two consecutive weekends starting March 6 and March 13:
• Various lanes will be closed over the weekend to restripe lanes and prepare to switch two eastbound lanes onto the westbound bridge. Westbound traffic will be reduced from five lanes to three lanes during this work.
Starting the weekend of March 13:
• The on-ramp from Veterans Memorial Parkway to eastbound I-70, just east of the convention center, will close. This ramp will remain closed until November. Drivers wishing to enter eastbound I-70 can use the Fifth Street entrance ramp as an alternate.
Nighttime closures are possible for the Fifth Street Ramp to eastbound I-70, MoDOT said.
Westbound traffic will return to the original configuration by November 2020.
Additional lane closures during off-peak hours will only impact the eastbound bridge during the 2021 construction season.
The $33 million rehabilitation project awarded to KCI Construction Co. will consist of replacing expansion joints, performing steel repairs on the truss and approach spans, and repainting the entire eastbound bridge.
The Blanchette Memorial Bridge and its westbound counterpart together carry on average about 150,000 vehicles daily, according to MoDOT. That’s more than any St. Louis area bridges that cross the Missouri.