ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KPLR) - Know before you go. Lane closures start Monday night along a stretch of I-270 between I-44 and Manchester Road. The closures are the beginning of a massive MoDOT project to actually widen the busy highway.
MoDOT hopes to reduce the traffic jams by adding an extra lane each way on 270 in this area. Drivers seem to support the move.
'They need the lane, I live on Des Peres Road and it backs up Des Peres Road because they can’t get on 270 south so I think they need it,' said 270 driver Tim Goodwin.
The extra lane in each direction means a two year project which starts now. Beginning tonight and continuing into May, there will be various lane closures on northbound 270 between 44 and Manchester Road.
The closures will start at 7pm and run through 5am each weekday night. The closures are needed because crews have to start paving and restriping work.
Come summer, MoDOT says there will be times when 270 in this area will be shut down completely for 10-15 minute periods during the day while crews blast rock.
MoDOT tells us the payoff will come with reduced delays and a quicker commute when the project is done.
'They’ll be able to go faster. Right now they’re averaging maybe 30 miles an hour during a typical commute. They’ll be able to go 45-50 miles an hour with our best guess,' said MoDOT Area Engineer Michelle Voegele.
270 driver Darren Osburn added, 'The construction won’t be a good thing because it will slow things down for a while but once it’s done I’m all for that.'
The extra lane northbound will be added from I-44 to Manchester Road. Southbound the additional lane will run from Dougherty Ferry to I-44.
To make it fit, all of the I-270 lanes in the area will be narrowed to the same width that the I-44 lanes were during the Highway 40 rebuild.
Along with the road work, crews will also add sound walls.
The project will take two years.
The northbound widening work will take place this year. Southbound work will happen next year.