CHESTERFIELD, MO (KTVI) – The Missouri Department of Transportation had to completely shut down Interstate 64/Highway 40 east over the Daniel Boone Bridge in Chesterfield after a crane hit the bridge Friday.
The incident is having a serious impact on traffic.
The big issues now are moving the massive crane and making sure the bridge wasn’t damaged by what happened.
The crane is on a barge that broke away on the Missouri River.
It’s from Walsh Construction and is part of the new Daniel Boone Bridge project.
MoDOT has closed all eastbound lanes of I-64/40 from the Route K/Highway 94 exit in St. Charles County to the other side of the bride in Chesterfield.
Besides the partial highway shutdown, the entrance ramps onto I-64/40 east from Route 94, Route K and Research Park are also closed.
MoDOT officials say the incident is weather related because of the massive storms we just had.
“The river cane up about 10 feet last night. There was high winds and it came up higher than we expected. The barge broke free, basically it was holding the crane, and it moved about 50 feet and it’s resting up against the bridge. The problem is, too, there’s a lot of debris building up against the barge and so there’s a lot of pressure on this bridge and so at this point there’s more and more pressure on it so we want to get the traffic off there and get that moved as quickly as possible,” said MoDOT District Engineer Greg Horn.
Drivers are being asked to use Interstate 70, the Page Extension or Route 94 as alternates.
Fortunately, nobody was hurt.
MoDOT is working with several agencies, including the US Coast Guard. Tug boats are being moved up the Missouri River to help move the barge.
Horn says MoDOT believes the barge moved the 50 feet slowly, and that the crane did not slam into the bridge, but gently eased into it, probably overnight. Workers first noticed the crane next to the bridge at 5:30am Friday.
The extent of the damage is not completely known yet.
Even though the incident should be resolved by Friday evening, MoDOT says only one lane will reopen going eastbound since crews are shutting down I-64/40 both ways in two spots Friday night in the Chesterfield Valley for the entire weekend.
MoDOT is taking down the Chesterfield Airport Road Bridge and the Chesterfield Parkway West Bridge.
Traffic going east over the Daniel Boone Bridge was already scheduled to go down to one lane coming off the bridge to exit at Chesterfield Airport Road even before the crane problem.
The bottom line: MoDOT says consider an alternate route if you are planning to use I-64/40 in the Chesterfield Valley this weekend.