I-44 finally reopened in both directions Thursday evening

FENTON, MO (KPLR) - Rush hour traffic for Interstate 44 travelers should be much improved Friday.

I-44 is open again in both directions. Crews with the Missouri Department of Transportation removed the barricades shortly after three Thursday afternoon for westbound Interstate 44. Eastbound lanes were reopened about five hours later.

“I’m happy once that goes down, we can start getting to our work where we need to be,” said driver Tracy Schaefferkoepper.

The reopening was important to Amber Bishop and her family.

“I have a daughter who has special needs who has appointments at the hospital and it was almost impossible to for us to be able to get help,” she said. “Very happy to hear that.”

MoDOT has been frustrated with people who drive around barricades used to block flooded roads.

“I don’t want any of our MoDOT employees or anyone else that’s working long hours getting hit by some motorist by moving the barricades and going around when the barricade is up on the road, please obey that,” said Tom Blair, MoDOT spokesman.

In Old Town Fenton, the Meramec River has a long way to go before it returns within its banks. Restaurants and businesses were surrounded by water and many establishments were forced to close. People who are long-time residents in Fenton know about floods.

It will be quite a challenge for businesses to rebound again after being hit hard in less than two years.