Construction this summer will hit every interstate in the St. Louis area, and bridges slated for renovation mean closures during peak driving times.
“Pretty much all of this is trying to hold together the system,” said Greg Horn, St. Louis district engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Work on bridges is more complex than typical roadwork, which often can be completed during nights and weekends, he said.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the biggest projects — which make up the bulk of the $228 million marked for St. Louis road projects this fiscal year — coming when the weather warms up.
No one from the Illinois Department of Transportation was available Friday to talk about summer projects in the Metro East.
• ST. LOUIS
Interstate 44/Interstate 55/Interstate 64 bridge work and resurfacing
One lane closed around the clock on eastbound and westbound Interstate 44 between Shrewsbury and Kingshighway. Ramps from Southwest and Shrewsbury to eastbound 44 will also be closed now through the end of the year. Watch for night and weekend ramp closures at the Interstate 44 and Interstate 55 interchange.
Eastbound I-44 will be reduced to one lane over Interstate 55 from April to mid-May. Various ramps to and from I-44/I-55, from Truman Parkway and Lafayette Avenue, will be closed for a few weeks each between April and July, but will be staggered.
And one lane is set to be closed around the clock on southbound I-44/I-55, between the Poplar Street Bridge and the I-44/I-55 interchange from July to December.
Grand over Interstate 44 bridge replacement
About 30,000 people a day travel this stretch of Grand Boulevard, where lanes will be closed beginning in June to replace the bridge above the interstate.
It’s another traffic snarl for south St. Louis drivers, who already are navigating around the Kingshighway closure.
But delaying the Grand project isn’t an option, Horn said. MoDOT rates its bridges on a scale of 1 to 9, with 9 being the best. A rating of 2 means the bridge gets closed. The Grand bridge scored a 3.
“It’s one of the worst bridges in the region,” Horn said.
MoDOT will remove, replace and raise the bridge about 1.5 feet to meet interstate standards. At least one lane will be open in each direction as crews replace the bridge in stages.
Drivers will not be able to make a left turn at the bridge likely through November — southbound drivers won’t be able to get to eastbound Interstate 44, and northbound drivers won’t be able to turn onto the westbound Interstate 44 ramp.
And there will be times when drivers won’t be able to make right turns from Grand onto the interstate.
• ST. LOUIS COUNTY
Interstate 55 resurfacing and bridge renovation
Crews will remove and replace the driving surface between Lindbergh Boulevard and 4500 Broadway beginning in April through late fall. One lane closed in each direction over the bridge at Reavis Barracks between April and August, and there will be nighttime lane closures.
Interstate 64 widening between Interstate 270 and Highway 340
This ongoing project to widen eastbound and westbound lanes is slated to last through this year. Drivers can expect the narrowing of eastbound lanes to allow crews to work behind barrier walls and lane closures during nonpeak traffic hours, especially at night.
Interstate 70/Interstate 170 bridge work
This includes work on all — yes, all — of the bridges at this busy interchange, starting this summer and wrapping up next summer.
One lane in each direction of Interstate 70 over Interstate 170 will be closed for up to four weeks, although exact dates haven’t been set. Also watch for ramp and lane closures.
Baxter Road in Chesterfield
Work will begin early next month on St. Louis County’s $1.5 million Baxter Road resurfacing project.
The 1.6-mile stretch between Clarkson and Wildhorse Creek roads in Chesterfield is set to close in early April until the end of the summer so crews can remove and replace deteriorated curbs and sidewalks, build wheelchair-accessible sidewalk ramps and remove and replace pavement, according to the St. Louis County Department of Transportation.
This segment of Baxter Road carries 17,400 vehicles a day and is a major part of the county’s arterial road system.
Interstate 270 at Bellefontaine Road bridge work
The interstate bridge deck over Bellefontaine Road is being rehabbed and expected to be done by the summer. One lane will be closed around the clock on eastbound and westbound Interstate 270 from Bellefontaine to Lilac.
• ST. CHARLES COUNTY
Construction at the Fairgrounds Road and Fifth Street interchanges means a two-month closure of the two westbound Interstate 70 right lanes approaching Highway 94. Three through lanes on Interstate 70 will stay open, as will the Highway 94 exit, but drivers will have to access the exit from the far right through lane on the interstate.
Westbound lanes between Fifth Street and Highway 94 will be narrowed and shifted, with the right lane closed between the Blanchette Bridge and Highway 94 for the month of April. Also watch for lane and ramp closures, and Fairgrounds Road over Interstate 70 will be shut down for 120 days beginning this spring.
• JEFFERSON COUNTY
Interstate 55 lane addition
Crews will work through the year extending a third northbound lane at Highway Z. That means the Highway Z ramp to northbound Interstate 55 will be closed through early August, with nighttime and off-peak time lane closures.