Traffic troubles set to intensify

If you thought getting to St. Louis last weekend was bad, just wait until starting tonight.

It was a nightmare last weekend with some Poplar Street Bridge lanes shut for resurfacing at the same time the ramp from the bridge to Interstates 44-55 is being rebuilt. Starting tonight at 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Monday, the eastbound lanes of the Martin Luther King Bridge also are scheduled to be closed for construction. Overnight closures are expected to continue during the next week.

Seriously, couldn’t the Missouri and Illinois Departments of Transportation coordinate this better and stagger the work? We know they talk with each other. They held a public hearing in December 2013 to discuss the Poplar Street Bridge closures. Maybe this is a sneaky way to get more motorists to use the new Stan Span.

At least the St. Louis Cardinals are out of town this weekend, and sadly, the St. Louis Blues are not playing in the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. And on the bright side, the new ramp, once finished, is expected to reduce or maybe even eliminate traffic snarls on the Poplar Street Bridge.

But short term, motorists are going to feel the pain. Build in lots of extra time and patience if you’re crossing the Mississippi River this weekend.