ST. LOUIS - Motorists are adjusting to the new interchanges on Interstate 64 on the first day of the reopening. Regional alternate routes have also seen reductions in the traffic that has detoured to them for the past two years. Overall, motorists adjusted to the new highway, but there are several spot locations where there were issues this morning.
"The biggest concern is educational for the motorists driving the new I-64 especially at the I-170 interchange," said MoDOT St. Louis District Engineer Ed Hassinger. "The exits at Hanley and Brentwood are now combined into one exit. We noticed many cars driving pass the exit and turning around at the next interchange. Motorists really need to drive this new road as a visitor from out of town. Slow down and pay attention to the signs."
The new section of I-64 between I-170 to Kingshighway was back to pre construction levels and the section from Kingshighway to the Poplar Street Bridge increased 33 percent.
All of the other interstates around the region had significantly reduced traffic. Here is a summary of the changes:
· I-44, from I-270 to I-55 in both directions, decreased 20-30 percent
· I-70, from I-270 to Poplar Street Bridge in both directions, decreased 10-20 percent
· I-55, from I-270 to Poplar Street Bridge in both directions, decreased 10-15 percent
· I-270 overall reduced 5-10 percent on the full loop. The southbound section from I-64 to I-44 reduced 22 percent
"Overall the motorists have left the alternate routes and returned to I-64," said Hassinger.
Traffic on the arterial roads was down on all major alternate routes, including Page, Olive and Manchester. Traffic engineers will continue to monitor intersections on the key arterials to make adjustments to them based on the changing traffic patterns. Kingshighway and I-64 signals were adjusted during the morning rush to handle some issues at that intersection. Lindbergh from I-64 north was also congested. Engineers are checking the signal timing, but part of the issue is the school traffic on Lindbergh during the 8-9 a.m. hour.
County and City engineers reported no problems on the major local streets. Forest Park Parkway was noticeably reduced this morning. Volumes will be available by Tuesday from the City and County.
For more information and to see maps of the changes at the I-170 interchange, visit http://www.thenewi64.org/