ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)- It’s been closed for nearly two years, but on Saturday part of the Kingshighway Bridge in south St. Louis near I-44 reopened to traffic.The 78 year old bridge was closed back in July of 2015 so it could be demolished and rebuilt.
A ribbon cutting marked the partial reopening of this important north/south city thoroughfare. Four of the six lanes are now open to traffic, two lanes in each direction. The additional two lanes and sidewalks won`t be ready until mid to late summer.
The old bridge was four lanes wide. The bridge runs a third of a mile along Kingshighway from Shaw Boulevard to Vandeventer and Southwest Avenues.
The closure has been tough on drivers and area businesses. Motorists have had to detour around it and businesses along this stretch have complained about losing customers during the closure.
Adding to the concerns have been construction delays. City officials had hoped to open the bridge by the end of last year but various delays pushed back that timetable.
A big part of this $21 million project was paid for by federal dollars while some was funded by the Union Pacific Railroad. Union Pacific tracks run under the bridge.