Metro-East News

Construction to close interchange this weekend, limiting access to Poplar Street Bridge

The Martin Luther King Bridge between Illinois and downtown St. Louis will be closed for a year, starting Aug. 20. Workers will demolish an old truss bridge on the ramp leading up to it and replace it with a steel-beam bridge.
The Martin Luther King Bridge between Illinois and downtown St. Louis will be closed for a year, starting Aug. 20. Workers will demolish an old truss bridge on the ramp leading up to it and replace it with a steel-beam bridge.

Drivers planning to use highways to and from downtown St. Louis this weekend are advised to find alternate routes around the Poplar Street Bridge.

IDOT will close westbound Interstate 55/64 at the interchange 8 p.m. Friday in East St. Louis in order to demolish a section of road leading to the Martin Luther King Bridge, which is currently closed and under construction.

Crews will demolish a section of the MLK approach that carries traffic over westbound Interstate 55/64, according to a news release.

This closure was planned for last weekend, however weather postponed the work.

Westbound traffic on I-55 and I-64, leading up to the Poplar Street Bridge, will not be able travel west of that interchange. This will make the Poplar Street Bridge accessible only through a detour.

The detours, which will be posted for drivers, include:

I-55 detour — drivers will take on I-255 south across the Jefferson Barracks Bridge and then back onto I-55

I-64 detour — drivers will take I-255 south to Illinois 3 north to westbound I-64 (via the Poplar Street Bridge)

The closure is expected to end by 5 p.m. on Sunday.

“Delays are expected. Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes and consider alternate forms of transportation during this weekend closure period,” IDOT wrote in the release.

Traffic in the area has been unusually congested due to the closure of the MLK Bridge in August and the closure of an additional westbound lane this week on the Poplar Street Bridge, bringing the bridge down to just two lanes.

Both MODOT And IDOT officials are urging drivers to take alternate routes as construction efforts continue.

Hana Muslic: 618-239-2626, @h_muslic
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