By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
The Missouri Dept. of Transportation and the Illinois Dept. of Transportation are working steadily through the summer on multi-year projects to improve access along some of the St. Louis region’s busiest thoroughfares.
MoDOT’s work to maximize roadway improvements to the Interstate 270 corridor from James S. McDonnell Blvd. to Bellefontaine Rd., the I-270 North Design-Build Project, is a $278 million, 44-month project that began in April 2020 and is projected to wrap up in December 2023. Millstone Weber and Parsons Transportation Group are the prime contractors.
Nina Thompson, communications coordinator for the project, said right now the work taking place includes building a new Pershall Road Bridge over Coldwater Creek, completing the West Florissant Bridge, construction of outer road improvements, the start of Missouri Rte. 367 interchange construction, connecting Pershall Bridge to Dunn Rd. over I-270 just east of Old Halls Ferry and the continuation of work on the U.S. Rte. 67 (Lindbergh Blvd.) interchange.
The I-270 project is MoDOT’s largest project in a decade.
MoDOT is also preparing to place concrete for the last piece of the new westbound Interstate 44 Bridge. The project includes widening the westbound bridge from four lanes to five and adding a ramp bridge to facilitate vehicles entering westbound I-44 from northbound and southbound I-270.
The work is also being performed to allow vehicles exiting westbound I-44 at Soccer Park/North Highway Drive to merge more safely and efficiently.
Andrew Gates, communications specialist, said MoDOT has completed the new ramp/collector-distributor pavement east of the bridge and is finishing the collector-distributor pavement west of the bridge. The asphalt overlay has been completed, he added, and striping is beginning. In addition, MoDOT has set girders and has partially formed the deck for the pedestrian and bicycle path bridge. Work on the I-44 bridge project commenced in August 2018 and is expected to complete in January. By this fall, MoDOT anticipates all traffic lanes across the bridge to be open.
The I-64 overpass at 22nd St. is another MoDOT project taking shape this summer. Gates said crews are currently constructing two overpasses – Ewing Ave. and 22nd St. over I-64 and Jefferson Ave. and 22nd St. The project began in July 2020 and has a projected finish of June 2022. KCI Construction is the prime contractor. Gates said this project was spurred by the relocation of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to its future campus just north of downtown St. Louis.
“This interchange update project, which creates the first full interchange on I-64 in the downtown area, helps bring traffic to and from the new NGA campus more efficiently,” said Gates.
IDOT is also working on a project to facilitate vehicular traffic in and around downtown St. Louis.
Dawn Johnson, IDOT Region 5 communications outreach liaison, said the agency is working toward completion this fall of the Poplar Street Bridge eastbound collector-distributor ramps, a project that began in December 2020. The $29.8 million project involves bridge deck replacement, full and partial depth deck repairs, deck sealing, removal and replacement of expansion joints, beam repair and strengthening, pier repairs, drainage repairs, safety improvements and sign replacement.