What is this project?
Rehabilitating the eastbound portion of the I-70 Missouri River Bridge is critical so it can be viable for another 20 years. The eastbound I-70 Missouri River Bridge opened in 1978 and due to the age of the bridge, improvements are needed. A variety of repairs will be made including replacing expansion joints, repairing the steel structure, sealing the bridge deck, and full paint replacement. While a full closure of the eastbound structure will not be required, both the westbound and eastbound directions of the bridge will be impacted to complete these repairs.
Reduced to three lanes for less than a year
Spring 2021- Summer 2021 (Reducing to four lanes)
Reduced to four lanes, two lanes crossover to the westbound river bridge, separated by a concrete barrier. Bridges expected to be back to original configuration by Nov. 2020. Additional lane closures during nighttime hours on eastbound bridge in 2021.
September 10, 2021 eastbound bridge update
The rehabilitation of the Eastbound Blanchette Bridge structure and truss was substantially complete in November 2020, but some epoxy deck sealing does remain for the driving surface. Due to an unforeseen nationwide material supply issue, the final application schedule is uncertain at this time and the material most likely will not be available until 2022. The application will involve approximately a month of off-peak nighttime closures for Eastbound I-70 to apply the epoxy to the driving surface of the bridge. A tentative work schedule will be provided once the epoxy material becomes available again.
Didn't MoDOT renovate the westbound bridge in 2012?
The westbound bridge was built in the late 1950's and a major rehabilitation was completed in 2012. During that time, the eastbound bridge carried both the eastbound and westbound traffic. Without those repairs, emergency repairs would have possibly been required at more frequent internals with longer closures. The westbound bridge will be utilized to keep traffic flowing while the eastbound bridge is repaired. The last major repairs to eastbound bridge were joint replacements in 2006.
What if we do nothing?
MoDOT regularly inspects bridges and if we find problems on our bridges, we will continue monitor and if necessary, will complete repairs to maintain safe bridges for our customers. We found moderate deteriorating elements, including moderate cracking and splitting on the eastbound portion of the Blanchette Bridge. Painting also provides corrosion protection. The paint system on the bridge has also reached the end of its life. If nothing is done now, the bridge will continue to deteriorate and more costly repairs or a complete bridge replacement will be necessary in the future. Doing this work now protects Missourian’s investment in this bridge and ensures it will provide many more years of reliable service.
What does this mean for drivers?
Motorists are encouraged to use Route 370 and Route 364 as the main alternative routes. Drivers can also use Route 364 to Arena Parkway. The closest alternate to Fifth Street and I-70 is just one mile away at Route 94. Motorists should consider flexing their work hours to avoid the peak traffic delays from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. in the eastbound direction and 2:30 until 6 p.m. in the westbound direction. Commercial vehicles are strongly encouraged to use I-70 to Route 370 to I-270 to cross through the St. Louis region.
Will there be impacts to the Katy Trail?
Yes, there will be occasional impacts to the Katy Trail. We will need to cross the trail to move equipment and materials to and from the job site. There is also work to the bridge that needs to be done next to or directly above the trail. MoDOT will work to minimize the impacts to the trail but there may be short periods of time that the trail has to close. Closures will be coordinated with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in advance as well as publicized via news releases and social media.
What is the complete construction schedule?
Motorists can expect to see delays beginning Monday, February 17. Work on the eastbound bridge will take place from March 2020-November 2020 and resume again in Spring 2021-December 2021. Lanes will be shifted in early March, Eastbound I-70 will be reduced from 5 lanes to 4 lanes, 2 on the existing eastbound bridge and 2 will cross over to the westbound bridge separated by a barrier wall. Because of this crossover setup, westbound I-70 will be reduced from 5 lanes to 3 lanes. For the duration of the lane restrictions on I-70, the Fairgrounds entrance ramp to I-70 eastbound will be closed as well. KCI Construction company was awarded the $33 million rehabilitation project. https://www.modot.org/node/17851
What if I have questions?
Feel free to send an email to Blanchettei70@modot.mo.gov or contact our customer service line at 1-888-ASK-MODOT(275-6636). KCI Construction Company is the contractor for this project.