I-70 Missouri River Bridge (Blanchette Bridge)
Connecting St. Charles and St. Louis Counties
Westbound Blanchette Bridge Project
The $64 million rehabilitation of the westbound Interstate 70 Missouri River Bridge (Blanchette Bridge) will keep the westbound bridge closed from November 2012 until late August 2013 (more than two months ahead of the original November 2013 deadline).
UPDATE AUGUST 24, 2013:
The Missouri Department of Transportation and its contractor Walsh Construction have reopend the I-70 Blanchette Missouri River bridge back to its normal five lanes in each direction as of midday Saturday, August 24, 2013. The $64 million rehabilitation of the westbound bridge had the highway reduced to three lanes in each direction since November 2012. The reopening of traffic is more than two months ahead of the original schedule of November 1, 2013.
The contractor will continue working under the bridge and in the area until the end of the year. There will be occasional lane closures overnight and during the midday, but rush hour time periods will not be affected. MoDOT and Walsh Construction thank you for your patience this past year.
October and November 2013:
Crews will have occasional one lane closures during off peak hours to complete some of the final work and punchlist items from the project. We do not anticipate any more major lane closures that could have a big impact on traffic from this point forward.
MoDOT has installed a camera on the top of the Ameristar hotel. The camera takes a photograph of the bridge approximately every 15 minutes. Click here to view the current and previous images.
Photos show the installation of the new steel truss replacement on the westbound I-70 bridge. Left photo was taken April 3, 2013, the middle photo shows the last piece of steel being installed May 15, 2013, and the right photo is from a concrete bridge deck pour June 7, 2013..
Link to Flickr collection of all the construction photos
Link to the Flickr collection of the April 3, 2013 aerial photos
Link to Flickr collection of photos from bridge blast Sunday, November 18, 2012
Link to Flickr collection of photos from bridge blast Tuesday, December 4, 2012
What’s the Problem?
The westbound I-70 bridge over the Missouri River was built in the late 1950s. Major river crossings are designed to last 100 years with a major overall needed at 50 years. Without major repairs, the bridge would continue to fall into disrepair and emergency repairs would be required at more frequent internals with longer traffic closures. These repairs would become increasingly more expensive.
The westbound I-70 Blanchette Bridge includes a total of 23 spans. Of those, the main three spans over the Missouri River have the overhead steel truss.
The rehabilitation of the Westbound I-70 Bridge included:
Removal and replacement of the existing truss spans with new trusses.
Replacement of the complete driving surface, edge barrier walls and all expansion joints
Elimination of the three spans nearest to the St. Louis County end and their conversion to roadway on embankment
Repair all remaining concrete substructure units including replacement of some parts
Complete replacement of the structural steel in the first nine spans of the bridge on the St. Charles County side
Repair of the structural steel components of the long girder spans and the truss spans
Repainting of all existing structural steel
Route 370 Temporary Bike Lane Closure
MoDOT closed the bike lane on the Route 370 Missouri River bridge in November 2011. The Route 370 bridge is restriped to add a fourth lane on 370 between Earth City Expressway and Route 94. The extra lane will help traffic during the closure of the westbound I-70 bridge. The fourth lane on Route 370 will be removed in 2014 and the bike lane will be restriped. During the closure, cyclists should use Route 364 Page Avenue to cross the Missouri River. A detour map showing how to get from Route 370 to Route 94 is attached.
Route 370 bike detour map to Route 364 (5.5Mb, pdf)
For More Information
For more information, MoDOT St Charles County Area Engineer Tom Evers at 314-275-1500 or toll free at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.