There's good news for I-70 drivers. The Blanchette Bridge is back to five lanes in each direction.
MoDOT reports that crews finished work well ahead of this morning's deadline, opening all lanes on both spans Saturday.
Transportation officials say drivers should expect occasional lane closures middays and overnight as crews finish work on the underside of the bridge structure.
The bulk of the work on the $64 million project has been completed two months ahead of schedule.
Despite opening three westbound lanes on the Blanchette Bridge earlier today, MODOT wants to remind drivers that work continues on the bridge complex.
Some median work as well as painting of the overhead trusses is still to be completed. Tonight, the two left lanes of westbound I-70 will be closed and there will be lane closures eastbound as well.
If you are planning to go to St. Charles for the Festival of The Little Hills this weekend, MODOT encourages using 370 and 364 as alternate routes.
MoDOT is encouraging drivers to avoid I-70 at the Blanchette Bridge for the next three nights.
Crews are working to get westbound traffic switched over to the rehabilitated westbound span of the bridge. The change will force the closure of several lanes and ramps in the coming days. Motorists are advised to avoid I-70 and use Route 370 or Route 364 as alternates to traveling in this area.
Traffic should be switched to the new bridge span by Friday.
A list of closures is below:
Tuesday, August 13, only one lane will be open on westbound I-70 and two lanes open eastbound I-70 at the Blanchette Bridge from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.
On Wednesday, August 14, only two lanes will be open westbound I-70 from Route 141/Earth City Expressway to the Blanchette Bridge from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. All four ramps connecting westbound I-70 to Earth City Expressway will also be closed overnight.
On Thursday, August 15, only one lane will be open westbound I-70 at the Blanchette Bridge from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. The goal is to have three lanes plus an exit only lane open on the westbound Blanchette Bridge by sometime Friday.
Workers are back at it on the Blanchette Bridge today for the first time since a contractor died earlier this week.
51-year-old Patrick Bray was killed after a large drum fell on him on Monday. The accident delayed work on 70 at the Fifth Street exit.
MoDOT says that work will start Monday night and run through July 8. Crews will close one lane of westbound 70 while the resurface the Fifth Street Bridge.
Drivers are advised to use alternate routes while the additional closures are in effect.
A contractor working on the Blanchette Bridge died after an accident Monday morning.
Just before 11 AM, the worker was hit by a large barrel. He died from his injuries. The man has not been identified, but was an employee of Walsh Construction--they were hired to perform the bridge repairs.
Crews were set to close the exit ramp from westbound 70 to southbound Fifth Street for work Monday night, but that project has been postponed.
All lanes on I-70 over the Blanchette Bridge in St. Charles are expected to be open to motorists three months earlier than projected.
This (Friday) morning, Missouri Department of Transportation District Engineer Ed Hassinger and City of St. Charles Mayor Sally Faith announced the I-70 Blanchette Missouri River Bridge rehabilitation project is ahead of schedule. The westbound I-70 bridge was closed November 2, 2012, for a maximum one year closure.
“We are pleased to announce today that our reconstruction work is progressing ahead of the one year schedule,” said MoDOT St. Louis District Engineer Ed Hassinger. “The contractor, Walsh Construction, is pushing to open the bridge to traffic before the city’s annual Festival of the Little Hills in mid-August. That goal would be nearly three months ahead of the original schedule.”
This week, Walsh Construction installed the last major piece of structural steel for the bridge. Since March, crews have installed approximately 2,200 pieces of steel for a total weight of 6.5 million pounds of steel in the truss and 1.5 million pounds of steel girders. Crews have begun pouring the concrete bridge deck. Despite extreme low river levels in the winter and flood levels in the spring, the contractor and team of local trades have continued on an aggressive schedule.
“Motorists have done a great job adjusting to the reduced lanes on I-70 at the Blanchette Bridge, and we appreciate their patience and cooperation,” said Hassinger. “We need people to continue using the alternate bridge crossings and avoiding I-70 during rush hours for a few more months.”
“We also want to thank the City of St. Charles for their team approach to this. Their cooperation and assistance with the local businesses has made this a smooth process for everyone,” said Hassinger.
Even more lanes will be closed on the Blanchette Bridge Tuesday.
Crews close one Westbound lane and start pothole repair at 9 AM Tuesday. After they finish the Westbound work, they will close one eastbound lane for pavement repairs. All work is expected to be done by noon. The additional lane closures, will leave only two lanes open to drivers.