On Schedule for Dec 2023 Finish
By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
MoDOT is this month celebrating the near completion of the new and improved southbound Lindbergh Boulevard section of its 8.6-mile, $278 million Interstate 270 North Design-Build Project.
The entire project stretches along I-270 north from Lindbergh Boulevard on the west to Route 367 on the east.
MoDOT’s largest project in 10 years began in April 2020 and is on track to complete in December 2023, according to I-270 North Deputy Project Director Eric Kopinski. “We are nearing the finishing stages of the Lindbergh Boulevard interchange,” he said. “We still need to demo the existing bridge in mid-August, but we’re close.”
Replacing both highway bridges over I-270 at New Florissant Road and New Halls Ferry Road is another facet of the mega-project that crews are tackling. Extensive work is being performed to make the outer road system safer and more expedient for motorists. MoDOT is phasing the work to keep lanes open to through traffic. This portion of the project is expected to continue through Fall 2022.
“We’re completely rebuilding the outer road and adjusting ramp locations to make it safer for travelers,” Kopinski said, noting that a new bridge connecting Pershall Road to Dunn Road improves connectivity, allowing motorists driving along Old Halls Ferry; now drivers can use Pershall Road to cross over I-270 and continue along Dunn Road.
MoDOT Communications Coordinator Nina Thompson said the work to replace and rebuild aging infrastructure – many of these highway bridges were built in the 1960s – with modern design features not only adds capacity but increases access for pedestrians.
“We’re adding multi-use trails on both sides of the highway (at New Florissant and New Halls Ferry) to allow for limited bicycling and jogging,” Thompson said.
Safety improvements are being achieved, MoDOT says, by eliminating crossover slip ramps at Pershall and Dunn that for years required motorists to cross over a lane of traffic that was headed toward them as they exited I-270.
“We’ve done extensive traffic modeling and safety analysis to ensure that what we’re building and improving today along I-270 will adequately serve motorists years down the road,” said Kopinski, noting that 140,000 vehicles travel this stretch of I-270 north every day and approximately 18 percent of that is truck traffic.
The final major section of the I-270 North Design-Build Project, the new Route 367 interchange, will commence soon. “It has long been a standard cloverleaf interchange,” Kopinski said. “We are ramping up this summer and fall to make significant changes.”