Counties Impacted
St. Louis
Project Status
Planning Phase
Route Impacted
Interstate 44

Project Milestones

Complete
Preliminary plans

Designers examine the issue and create a preliminary plan. 

Complete
Public Meeting

The virtual public meeting on this project closed on Tuesday February 2, 2021. Information about the project is available below.

Not Started
Project awarded

Once the department get comments from the public, it makes any final changes to the design and puts the project out for bid.  Once bids come in, the project is usually awarded to the lowest qualified bidder.

Not Started
Construction begins

Once the project has been awarded, the contractor obtains the needed materials and schedules the necessary workforce.  Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2022.

Not Started
Construction ends

Construction on this project is scheduled to last approximately four months.  It is scheduled to be complete in fall 2022.

What is the current situation?

The Missouri Department of Transportation is replacing the Big Bend bridge over I-44.  Originally built in 1967, the department considers this bridge in poor condition and it is reaching the end of its useful life. It needs constant maintenance, the driving surface and the bridge structure continues to deteriorate and it is cheaper to rebuild this bridge than to rehabilitate it.  In addition, rebuilding the bridge allows the department to raise the bridge to interstate standards, which should reduce the number of times the bridge gets struck. The replacement also allows the department to bring the barrier walls and sidewalks along the bridge up to current design standards. 

What improvements are being made?

The bridge is being made slightly wider to accommodate the updated sidewalks to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, the bridge is being made higher, to meet newer interstate standards, and the department is adding extra left turn lanes on the ramps from eastbound and westbound I-44.

Are bike facilities included in this project?

No new bike facilities are included on the bridge.  Drivers and cyclist swill continue to be required to share the roadway. Although lanes will remain the same width, the new bridge will be wider after construction and allow for five foot shoulder spacing. Sharing the lane should be easier for both cyclists and drivers.

What are the impacts from the project?

The Big Bend bridge will close for four months during construction.  There will be a weekend closure of I-44 at the beginning to the project to demolish the bridge.  There will be overnight closures of the ramps between eastbound I-44 and Big Bend for 10 days and overnight closures of the ramps between westbound I-44 and Big Bend for 10 days.

What are the anticipated detours?

MoDOT uses state-maintained roadways as much as possible, so local drivers may choose to use other routes besides those officially signed as detoured. During the bridge closure, drivers on northbound Big Bend heading to the west will be detoured to eastbound I-44, where they can turn around at Elm to head west.  Drivers on southbound Big Bend heading east will be detoured to westbound I-44 where they can turn around at Lindbergh to head east. During the interstate closure, drivers will be routed up the ramps on either side of the bridge and back down to the interstate. During the ramp closures, drivers can use Lindbergh and Watson Road as detour routes.

Could MoDOT include dual left turn lanes from Big Bend to westbound I-44?

Adding the dual left  lanes from the interstate ramps to Big Bend will allow the department to shorten the amount of time needed to move traffic off the interstate.  That will give more time on Big Bend to move traffic both north and south on Big Bend and to the interstate. Traffic counts during rush periods are not high enough to make dual left turns practical. In addition, adding  dual turn lanes from Big Bend to I-44 would require us to widen the ramp and I-44 for the receiving lanes -- which is out of the scope of this bridge replacement project.   

What is the timeline?

Event

Time

Preliminary plans

Completed

Public Meeting

January 19, 2021

Project awarded

Fall 2021

Construction begins

Spring 2022

Construction complete

Late fall 2022