Lane closures planned for this week on the Poplar Street Bridge in St. Louis have been rescheduled because of frigid temperatures.
“Everything that was going to happen this week is going to happen next week,” said Missouri Department of Transportation spokesman Andrew Gates. “Same times, same days, weather permitting. If they have more cold weather, it may shift it again.”
The lane closures are needed to shift traffic as part of a long-term project to widen and resurface the bridge.
Three of the bridge’s four eastbound lanes will be closed on and off Tuesday through Thursday to allow workers to move barrier walls and restripe lanes.
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“If you do striping in the kind of weather that we’re having, it doesn’t stick well to the pavement,” Gates said.
Striping isn’t a big problem with temperatures in the 30s and 40s, he said. But the area has experienced nighttime temperatures below 20 and is expected to dip down into single digits over the weekend.
The bridge’s eastbound lanes carry traffic on Interstate 64 east and Interstate 55 north. Three of these lanes will be closed from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 2 p.m. Wednesday and 8 p.m. Wednesday to 2 p.m. Thursday.
Then the bridge will go back to having two eastbound lanes closed, except it will be those on the far left and far right instead of the two right lanes, sending traffic on the two middle lanes through February 2018.
“We’re still going to have two through lanes,” Gates said when the original plan was announced last week. “That’s the important thing for people to know.”
Regarding the bridge’s westbound lanes, MoDOT plans to close two lanes at 8 p.m. Thursday and reopen one of them by 5 a.m. Friday.
When the traffic shifts are complete, the bridge’s left westbound lane and left eastbound lane will be closed around the clock through December 2018.
“These lane closures will let crews prepare the bridge for a scheduled ‘slide’ to widen the bridge in late March and then will let crews construct and fill in the new eastbound lane for the bridge,” according to a MoDOT press release.
The right eastbound lane is projected to remain closed for resurfacing through February 2018.
MoDOT continues to encourage Illinois commuters and other drivers to consider its recommended alternate route on the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge during Poplar Street Bridge construction.
Other alternatives include the Eads Bridge and Martin Luther King Bridge.