Truckers traveling through downtown St. Louis will need to reroute in the near future. The final phase of the Poplar Street ramp project will commence later this year and closures or lane reductions are expected to last four to five months.
The ramp from northbound Interstate 55 to the Poplar Street Bridge will undergo construction to add another lane. According to Michelle Voegle, Missouri Department of Transportation area engineer, construction will affect traffic from four to five months beginning in mid-August.
During the two-year project expected to be complete at the end of next year, weekend ramp and lane closures on the bridge will occur as construction crews add a fifth lane on the eastbound side of the bridge.
Detours will be posted in the area, but Voegle suggests motorists find alternate routes away from the downtown area as other projects could affect travel time. The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge is one such detour, but motorists should expect delays.
Part of a larger project, the ramp from westbound Interstate 44 to eastbound Interstate 64 on the Poplar Street Bridge was removed in 2015 to make way for the upcoming two-lane ramp on I-55. Voegle told Land Line that the new two-lane ramp will ease congestion and address several safety issues.
According to MoDOT’s website, the Poplar Street Bridge was one of only two bridges in the nation that carried three interstates (I-70, I-55, I-64) across a river. Built in the 1960s, the bridge was not designed to carry the amount of traffic it does today and was constructed with different standards. As a result, the accident rate is three times that of normal interchanges and a reason why trucks overturn on the ramps.