ST. CHARLES, MO (KPLR) – The $63 million rehabilitation of the westboundspan of the Blanchette Bridge over the Missouri River has begun and work will continue until Fall 2013. The bridge will be shut down to two lanes over the weekend and come Monday morning the westbound lanes will be completely shut down.
Drivers will see major changes. The normal ten lanes used for the bridge will drop down to six smaller lanes going each way. MoDOT manager Linda Wilson-Horn all traffic will be shifted to the eastbound side while crews work.
“They will be signing, striping, and pinning over a mile of barrier walls over the course of this weekend,” said Wilson-Horn.
Starting Friday and all weekend crews will start shutting down lanes on I-70. Speeds heading into the bridge area will be reduced. MoDOT and the city of St. Charles are working with local businesses to help maintain a traffic flow. An idea that Grandma's Cookies owner Brian Weis says has been helpful for business.
“St. Charles has done a great job of promoting down St. Charles the Christmas traditions festival over the years this year won’t be any different,” said Weis.
“You are going to see the work zones start at Highway 94. The speed limit is going to drop from 60 down to 50. By the time you get to the bridge it will be a 45 mph speed limit,” said Wilson-Horn.
MoDOT is suggesting that drivers plan alternate routes now to make adjustments to a project that won`t be complete until next fall.
“My best words of wisdom for drivers is to use Route 370 or the Page Extension as alternate routes especially this weekend especially since we will have 70 down to two lanes in each direction,” Wilson-Horn said.
Traffic will still flow in both directions on the eastbound span of the Blanchette Bridge using those reduced lanes. Drivers not using an alternate route need to prepare to go slower, maybe much slower during peak hours.
Updates, alternative routes, and scheduled completion dates: MoDOT Blanchette Bridge Renovations