ST. LOUIS - The traffic flow went smoother than expected the first day of the west half reopening and east half closure of I-64. Overnight winter ice and snow affected the morning rush. Heavy traffic on the interstates didn't reach peak until one hour later than normal at nearly 8 a.m.
The new lanes of westbound I-64 from I-170 to I-270 opened at 9 p.m. Sunday night. The eastbound lanes of I-64 opened at 11:30 p.m.
Forest Park Parkway is up in both directions with an increase in travel time of more than 4 minutes with increased volumes ranging from 15-30%. As St. Louis County and St. Louis City engineers monitored Forest Park Parkway today, they made signal adjustments at the signals at Big Bend and at Skinker.
"Today's traffic was lighter than normal due to the winter weather, but we are pleased with how people have handled the switch," said MoDOT Director Pete Rahn.
"Our biggest area of concern is Forest Park Parkway. Even on a light day, we have reached capacity on Forest Park Parkway," said City of St. Louis Director of Streets Todd Waeltermann. "We really need people to find another alternate."
Many crashes and incidents around the region on the interstates caused delays including crashes on I-270 near Page Ave, I-44 near Jefferson and on I-170 near Natural Bridge and near Forest Park Parkway. The law states that if you have a crash and there are no injuries, drivers are required to move out of the driving lanes.
The main alternate arterial streets were down in volume. Noticeably Page and Olive west of I-170 had less volume and quicker travel times as motorists are now able to use the reopened western half of I-64. Kingshighway volume was also lighter than usual today.
- Jefferson is open two lanes northbound, volumes are light.
- Tucker is very busy between I-44 and downtown. We recommend taking I-44 to Lafayette to Truman, which becomes 18th Street.
- Manchester Road traffic was very light today.
- Page Avenue traffic was very light today.
- Illinois commuters are recommended to take MetroLink to BJC, Washington University or Clayton
- Metro Meridian garage on Eager Road has plenty of space available.
As we move into normal rush periods without winter weather, MoDOT, St. Louis City and St. Louis County will be focused on monitoring signals on the following key alternate routes:
- Forest Park Parkway from I-170 to I-64
- Skinker/Clayton/McCausland intersection
- Kingshighway between I-64 and I-44
- Brentwood Blvd at Eager Road and at Clayton Road
- Page from I-270 to Kingshighway
- Olive from I-270 to Skinker
For more information on the I-64 project, visit http://www.thenewi64.org/, and for real-time traffic information, visit http://www.gatewayguide.com/.