Metro-East News

McKinley Bridge to be closed for repairs

The McKinley Bridge over the Mississippi River will be closed in both directions Wednesday for repairs, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The closure, which is expected to last from 7:30 a.m. until about 6 p.m., is needed so lighting on the span can be repaired, according to IDOT leaders.

It is recommended that motorists use the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge as an alternate route.

The McKinley Bridge, originally opened in 1910, connects Venice on the Illinois side of the river to St. Louis on the Missouri side. It was closed from October 2001 until November 2007 while major renovations were completed.

At one time the Mississippi River crossing of Route 66, about 17,000 cars cross the bridge a day, according to state statistics.

The closing comes at a time of significant work on other downtown bridges: Two westbound lanes of the Poplar Street Bridge are closed for resurfacing, while workers have also closed the I-44-55 ramp off the bridge while a two-lane ramp is constructed.

In addition, the Martin Luther King Bridge will be closed for repairs for several months starting July 6, while a longtime repair project continues to narrow the Eads Bridge to one lane in each direction.