Lane closures planned this week for Interstate 44 bridge construction


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By Gloria Lloyd, News Editor

The Missouri Department of Transportation will be closing lanes and shifting traffic in two key areas in South County related to ongoing construction on the new Interstate 44 Meramec River Bridge.

Construction started in 2018 and is expected to continue through 2022 at the I-44/Interstate 270 interchange in Sunset Hills and Fenton, constructing four new bridges, including a new westbound and eastbound bridge over the Meramec River.

Despite the lower-than-usual traffic along the corridor under construction right now, the agency says that construction plans are right on time for the expected finish date. Most of the current construction is happening outside of traffic, so lower traffic does not affect it. Construction had fallen behind last year due to Meramec River flooding, but is now back on track.

On Tuesday, April 21, MoDOT will close the left lane on eastbound Interstate 44 near the bridge from 7 a.m. to about 4 p.m.

Crews will be removing some barrier wall that is currently not needed for eastbound traffic.

They will be moving that barrier into place on the westbound side on Wednesday, in preparation for a traffic shift Thursday.

On Thursday, April 23, MoDOT will close two additional left lanes from Geyer to Soccer Park Road to shift westbound traffic onto new pavement starting at 8 a.m.

That will mean that only one westbound lane will be open on I-44 from Geyer to where the ramp from Interstate 270 comes in, and two open from there to the Soccer Park exit. The agency plans to open up one of those lanes by 2 p.m. and the other by 4 p.m. that day. 

The work is weather permitting, so if the area has inclement weather, construction plans may shift.

Construction is one of the essential activities still allowed under St. Louis County Executive Sam Page’s stay-at-home order currently in effect due to COVID-19.

The ongoing construction of the Meramec River Bridge has caused traffic hassles over the past year, but traffic is dramatically down due to most people working from home during the coronavirus outbreak.

In previous phases of the four-year construction, the old eastbound bridge was removed and traffic was shifted to the newly built westbound bridge.