What was rebuilt?
The New I-64 project had a budget of $535 million and included I-64 from west of Spoede Road in St. Louis County to east of Kingshighway Boulevard in the City of St. Louis. The project rebuilt all 12 interchanges including a new interchange at I-170, added one lane in each direction from west of Spoede to I-170 and reconstructed the bridges and pavement.
Is the highway open now?
Yes. All lanes between I-170 and Kingshighway in both directions closed in January 2009 and reopened on December 7, 2009. All lanes between Ballas and I-170 in both directions closed on January 2, 2008 and reopened on December 15, 2008.
When did construction start?
Construction began in March 2007.
Why did they decide to close the highway completely, instead of leaving some lanes open?
Given the budget, time, and space constraints on the I-64 project, a two-section closure approach was the only way to accomplish all the work that needed to be done. The narrow freeway corridor restricted the options that were available. Maintaining one lane of traffic in each direction during construction would have lengthened the time of construction to six to eight years, instead of the two years it took with the full closure approach.
Were sound walls included in the project?
Yes, sound walls along the project corridor have already been constructed.
Now that the project is finished, does I-64 have more lanes?
MoDOT has improved traffic flow on I-64 with the addition of more lanes. One additional lane in each direction has been added from Ballas to I-170. Traffic flow along this section of I-64 was greatly improved by improving the overall roadway design, interchanges and the addition of exit only lanes between interchanges.
Were there training and apprenticeship opportunities for minorities and females on this project?
Yes. MoDOT worked with the contractor, unions and local organizations and developed a plan to have more inclusion of minorities, females and economically disadvantaged individuals on the I-64 project. For more information, please visit the Workforce Development webpage of the website.
Why don't you put MetroLink down the middle of the highway?
The East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGCOG), the planning agency for the entire St. Louis region, studied and approved the plans for MetroLink from downtown to Clayton in 1997 and from Clayton to Chesterfield in 1999. The approved routes do not use I-64, but are located north of I-64. The Clayton to Shrewsbury MetroLink line, which opened in August 2006, runs north of I-64 along Forest Park Parkway to Clayton and then south along I-170 terminating at I-44 in Shrewsbury. The other study identified a future West County line that would extend from Clayton to Page near Westport Plaza and eventually to Chesterfield Valley. Currently, there is no funding in place for any of these options. For more information about how transportation options are planned for the region, visit www.ewgateway.org. For information on current MetroLink or MetroBus lines, please visit www.metrostlouis.org.
Which houses or property did MoDOT take?
MoDOT purchased 65 properties for the project. Another 79 property owners had a portion of their property purchased for the project or for a construction or utility easement.
Why was MoDOT concerned with the bridges?
There are more than 30 bridges on or over I-64 in this project. New bridges are given a rating of a 9. Half of the I-64 bridges were rated 4 or 3 before construction began. At a level 2 they are closed. Replacing these bridges was a major reason for doing this project quickly.
What is the 1997 Cross-County Corridor MTIA we sometimes hear in conjunction with I-64 improvements?
The Cross-County MTIA study was co-sponsored by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, MoDOT and Metro (formerly the Bi-State Development Agency). The report identified transportation problems along I-64 and I-170 and pinpointed concerns related to neighborhood impacts, funding, safety and security, air quality and noise. The public was kept informed through community outreach meetings, newsletters and public meetings during the study.