Commuters from Illinois today lose one ramp from the interstate into downtown for a year as crews start constructing new ramps.
The Missouri Department of Transportation will start work to close the ramp from the westbound Poplar Street Bridge to I-44/Memorial Drive after evening rush on Tuesday, May 27. The ramp will be closed by the following morning.
This closure is to start work on rebuilding the ramps from the Poplar Street Bridge to eastbound I-44 and to southbound I-55. The new ramps will be two lanes and more gradual to reduce congestion and make the ramps and the interchange safer.
In addition, the right lane on the westbound Poplar Street Bridge will be closed around the clock. The ramp will remain closed for about a year. Additional lane closures on the westbound bridge will be needed on off-peak hours and at night.
Drivers from Illinois should use the Eads Bridge, the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge or stay on I-64 and enter downtown on 9thStreet. Although drivers can use the Martin Luther King Bridge, the Illinois Department of Transportation has a project to replace the driving surface starting in August.
"Commuters need to consider their alternates now and start to make changes to avoid the congestion from this ramp closure. Besides the alternate routes, commuters can use MetroLink and MetroBus. Those who can, should consider adjusting their commute time or telecommuting –that will help open up the roadways for those who need to report to work at specific times," said Deanna Venker, MoDOT's St. Louis City area engineer.