Missouri Department of Transportation is again postponing lane closures on the Poplar Street Bridge in St. Louis due to frigid weather.
Three of the bridge’s four eastbound lanes will be closed off and on for two days next week instead of this week — unless temperatures in the single digits continue.
“They need it to be about 20 degrees to do the striping,” said MoDOT spokesman Andrew Gates.
Lane closures are needed to shift traffic as part of a long-term project to widen and resurface the bridge. They originally were scheduled for the week between Christmas and New Year’s, when traffic is lower than usual.
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. Monday to 2 p.m. Tuesday and 8 p.m. Tuesday to 2 p.m. Wednesday next week.
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.
“We’re still going to have two through lanes,” Gates said when the original plan was announced two weeks ago. “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. Wednesday and reopen one of them by 5 a.m. Thursday next week.
When 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.
MoDOT still expects a February opening for the bridge’s right eastbound lane, which is being resurfaced; and the ramp from Interstates 55 and 44 onto the bridge’s eastbound lanes.
“If we keep kicking this down the road, it will have an impact,” Gates said. “But at this point, we don’t anticipate it.”