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Blanchette Missouri River Bridge Renovations

I-70 Missouri River Bridge (Blanchette Bridge)
Connecting St. Charles and St. Louis Counties

Completed I-70 Blanchette Missouri River Bridge

Westbound Blanchette Bridge Project

The $64 million rehabilitation of the westbound Interstate 70 Missouri River Bridge (Blanchette Bridge) closed from November 2012 until late August 2013 (more than two months ahead of the original November 2013 deadline). 

The Missouri Department of Transportation and its contractor Walsh Construction reopened the I-70 Blanchette Missouri River bridge back to its normal five lanes in each direction on August 24, 2013.  The $64 million rehabilitation of the westbound bridge had the highway reduced to three lanes in each direction from November 2012 until August 2013.  The reopening of traffic was more than two months ahead of the original schedule of November 1, 2013.

MoDOT and Walsh Construction thank you for your patience during the 10 month closure.



MoDOT installed a camera on the top of the Ameristar hotel.  The camera took a photograph of the bridge approximately every 15 minutes.  Click here to view the images.

Aerial view of steel truss installation taken April 3, 2013Last piece of steel installed on Blanchette BridgeDeck Pour June 7, 2013

Photos show the installation of the new steel truss replacement on the westbound I-70 bridge. Left photo was taken April 3, 2013, the middle photo shows the last piece of steel being installed May 15, 2013, and the right photo is from a concrete bridge deck pour June 7, 2013.

Link to Flickr collection of all the construction photos

Link to the Flickr collection of the April 3, 2013 aerial photos

Link to the Flickr collection of the April 10, 2014 aerial photos (completed bridge)


Blanchette Bridge lit with explosive chargesBlanchette Bridge with smoke from explosivesOne span of westbound Blanchette Bridge dropped in the river

Link to Flickr collection of photos from bridge blast Sunday, November 18, 2012

65 pounds of explosives detonate to cut the steel trussOver 1,000 feet of the bridge fell into the Missouri River4.5 million pounds of steel landed in the river and will be removed by cranes

Link to Flickr collection of photos from bridge blast Tuesday, December 4, 2012


What was the Problem?

The westbound I-70 bridge over the Missouri River was built in the late 1950s. Major river crossings are designed to last 100 years with a major overall needed at 50 years.  Without major repairs, the bridge would continue to fall into disrepair and emergency repairs would be required at more frequent internals with longer traffic closures.  These repairs would become increasingly more expensive.    

Rehabilitation Plan

The westbound I-70 Blanchette Bridge includes a total of 23 spans.  Of those, the main three spans over the Missouri River have the overhead steel truss. 

The rehabilitation of the Westbound I-70 Bridge included:

  • Removal and replacement of the existing truss spans with new trusses.

  • Replacement of the complete driving surface, edge barrier walls and  all expansion joints

  • Elimination of the three spans nearest to the St. Louis County end and their conversion to roadway on embankment

  • Repair all remaining concrete substructure units including replacement of some parts

  • Complete replacement of the structural steel in the first nine spans of the bridge on the St. Charles County side

  • Repair of the structural steel components of the long girder spans and the truss spans

  • Repainting of all existing structural steel

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