MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. - Drivers have been forced to make a U-turn at Route 141 near Earth City because of floodwater in the northbound and southbound lanes.
The Missouri Department of Transportation closed the highway in both directions at noon Wednesday between Creve Coeur Airport Road and Creve Coeur Mill Road due to the water seeping over the roadway.
"Rains have been the biggest problem. This is just a big bowl and there's no place for it to go," said Maryland Heights Mayor Mike Moeller.
The levee board and the city of Maryland Heights have been building berms to stop the water from flowing onto the highway. They're also pumping the water out. Their goal is to have the Maryland Heights Expressway open by Thursday morning.
"It's coming from the Creve Coeur Lake-area and flowing this way," Moeller said. "The problem is this is on the inside of the levee and anything that gets in here has no way to get out."
Bob Cameron, the manager at Creve Coeur Airport, said many of his hangers have water in them now and several businesses have been affected by the flooding and closure of the highway.
"We've got 44 square miles of watershed draining down into Creve Coeur Lake," he said. "That has to get to the river. With the river being so high, that water can't get out."
Moeller said this kind of flooding hasn't happened since the Flood of '93. And as far as a fix for this problem in the future?
"What it's going to take in the end is pumps to pump it over the levee. That's a significant amount of money; millions of dollars," he said.
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.