ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A pair of traffic obstacles with very different objectives will impact drivers in Downtown St. Louis Friday, and Saturday. One closure involves construction, while the other is a safety issue, not in a work zone, but in a party zone.
Interstate 64/Highway 40 saw its westbound lanes closed about 8:30 Friday night. Workers are shifting a lane closure on the highway from the center lane to the left, and need to move enormous concrete barriers to get the job done.
The closure went into effect during the Cardinals game with the Cleveland Indians. MoDOT was leaving onramps open to accommodate fans after the game, and said people leaving the ballpark wouldn’t be impacted, but fans were skeptical.
“It think it’s gonna be a problem,” Lindsey Price said outside Busch Stadium, “so hopefully we won’t leave ‘til way late. Early morning, so we don’t have to deal with it.”
Another fan who normally uses 40, Mike Amann, agreed. “I think there will be a lot of confused people. We put a post it note on our steering wheel to take 44 home, so I think we’ll be safe.”
MoDOT officials expect one lane to reopen Saturday morning, with a second up and running by midday. But they say the ride will be different once the lane shift is complete.
“You definitely need to be paying attention as you’re driving through there, particularly on Saturday,” MoDOT’s Drew Gates said. “As folks are going through on Monday morning too they need to be aware the lanes have shifted.”
On Washington Avenue, St. Louis Police are flooding the area with manpower to help handle the party crowds on Friday and Saturday night.
In addition to the manpower, they are closing Washington Avenue to westbound traffic between 11pm and 3am. The closure is between Tucker and 14th Street.
The move has been met with mixed reviews from people in the area.
“The number of cops they had and the number of vehicles was just overwhelming,” said Steve Patterson, who lives downtown and has a blog called Urban Review STL. “The whole mood though was down because cars going by adds excitement to an urban area,” Patterson said.
Taxi stands and valet parking will be moved to the corners of Tucker and 14th along Washington during the closures Friday and Saturday night.
Police say they could change things up if circumstances warrant.