All the westbound lanes of the Jefferson Barracks Bridge across the Mississippi River from Illinois to South County are still closed through at least the end of the week due to emergency bridge repairs.
The Missouri Department of Transportation said that “highly specialized” inspection teams are examining the JB Bridge during daylight hours, 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., to determine any other potential places where there may be similar issues on the bridge. MoDOT brought in equipment from Jefferson City and Chicago and even flew in a specialist from Seattle for the inspection.
The inspection is expected to be finished Wednesday, and after that the agency says it will likely be able to figure out a more specific timeline for reopening the bridge.
MoDOT found cracks during a routine inspection Sunday and immediately shut down all lanes to examine the cracks to see what needed to be done. The eastbound lanes are unaffected.
The JB Bridge was finished in 1985, and about 60,000 cars travel the eastbound and westbound lanes of the bridge daily.
The bridge shutdown caused tie-ups on the Monday morning commute, as people coming from Illinois took an alternate route through downtown St. Louis at the Poplar Street Bridge and Illinois Route 3.
The MLK Bridge is currently shut down for a year for refurbishing.
But the newer Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge saw only a slight increase in traffic, and there was no change in traffic on the westbound Chain of Rocks Bridge.
MoDOT encourages commuters to use all the bridges into Illinois and get onto the interstate system as soon as possible to have a broader range of bridges.