Bridges connecting Missouri and Illinois are in for a major face-lift in the next few years. Nearly the entire section of roadway in Downtown St. Louis between the new Mississippi River Bridge, the Poplar Street Bridge, the Old Courthouse, and the river will be revamped – which means good and bad news for commuters.
The good news is that our region’s transportation infrastructure is getting some critical updates. The new Mississippi River Bridge is almost completed, the Martin Luther King Bridge will be getting resurfaced, and the Poplar Street Bridge will have repair work done on its ramps and surface pavement.
In addition, work on the new Gateway Arch grounds will begin next year and will be making some major changes to the downtown and riverfront landscape. This project also entails a great deal of work on re-routing and making improvements to Memorial Drive, Broadway, and Fourth Street downtown.
All projects will be completed within the next 3.5 years; however, the bad news is that there will be a lot of traffic disruptions during this time. Shortly after the Mississippi River Bridge opens in 2014, the MLK Bridge will close for reconstruction of its deck. The MLK Bridge is set to be closed from August 2014 to March 2015. And while the Poplar Street Bridge is not expected to close down entirely, the amount of construction work done will be significant and extensive.
With all the closures and work zones becoming a daily sight over the next few years, driving to and from Downtown St. Louis is likely to become a major headache for drivers. Transit is a great option for those who currently utilize these routes and will be looking for an alternative in the coming months and years. Metro connects Missouri, Illinois, and the region and is a great way to get around without driving. There are 6 MetroLink Stations in Downtown St. Louis alone, as well as a number of MetroBus routes serving the areas to be affected. Whether you take transit regularly, occasionally or have never set foot on MetroLink before, there is no better time to get on board!
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but it seems that at the end of the road, this project will turn out to be a great boost to the region.” –Mark Kern, St. Clair County Board Chairman
For the full article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, click here.