MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – You might have thought the worst of flooding was over but a major highway closed Tuesday, affecting thousands of drivers for the evening rush hour.
The Missouri Department of Transportation closed the northbound lanes of Highway 141 in Maryland Heights.
“It’s very frustrating,” said Tracy Cernicek, who was on her way to meet a colleague at Hollywood Casino late Tuesday afternoon. “With all the flooding going on around this area and just getting around St. Charles County area is crazy.”
Drivers have been forced to make a U-turn at Creve Coeur Airport Road because barricades are up closing Highway 141 because of floodwater in the northbound lanes. About 20,000 vehicles travel this stretch of 141 every day.
"My advice to motorists would be to look at adjusting your work schedule. Yes, we have other constructions projects in the area but we do want you to use I-270 and just avoid the area and use Highway 94 to get around this area,” said MoDOT North St. Louis County area engineer Betherny Williams.
The suggested detour for northbound 141 is to take westbound Page Avenue (Route 364) to Highway 94 or eastbound Page Avenue (Route 364) to I-270. Drivers on northbound 141 will still be able to access Creve Coeur Airport.
Earlier this week, floodwaters began rising on the highway at the intersection of Sport Port Road, forcing crews to close traffic to one lane in each direction. The water has continued to rise since then.
“I saw that the road was almost, almost flooded (Monday),” said Shannon McIntosh. “So it didn’t occur to me to turn around today but, I mean, what are you going to do?”
The road closure will also affect several businesses, including the quarry at Crystal Springs Golf Course, Hollywood Casino, and Hollywood Casino Amphitheater.
“Flooded the golf course,” said operator Nash Haxel. “And we’ve been underwater for 18 days now.”
Haxel shared with FOX 2 the many images of the flooded golf course, which now looks like a lake itself.
“The water is just sitting there; over 120 acres worth,” he said.
Haxel said he’s a small business owner and is losing hundreds and thousands of dollars in revenue especially because June is supposed to be one of the busiest months for the golf course.
“We really can’t get the water off our golf course until the levee gates and the river fall,” he said. "So we kind of expect to be closed for another two or three weeks.”
Southbound 141 is open for now but with the water rising and more rain in the forecast, a MoDOT spokesperson said they may have to close the southbound lanes Wednesday morning.