ST. LOUIS, Mo. - MoDOT crews have nearly completed an in-depth inspection of the I-255 bridges across the Mississippi River, better known as the Jefferson Barracks Bridge, but it is still uncertain when they will be able to determine that the bridge is safe and reopen it.
On Sunday, a routine inspection found a six-foot crack under the weld of a critical portion of the bridge’s structure, closing the westbound lanes. Further inspections found additional cracks in other spots of the westbound bridge, but none as severe as the initial crack.
MoDOT hopes to know more by Thursday after they receive the result of an extensive lab test on the portion of the bridge where cracks were discovered. After that, they will be able to determine if they will be able to reopen the bridge, or will have to look at constructing a cross-over to move one lane of westbound I-255 to the eastbound bridge.
I-255 commuters heading from Illinois to Missouri will need to continue to use alternative routes. It is recommended that drivers get onto the interstate system as soon as possible and use all Mississippi River crossings between Illinois and Missouri, or, if possible, use MetroLink. IDOT has also increased staff on hand to update signs and adjust signal timing.
This is raw video from MoDOT's press conference: