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Consultants Propose Adding Lane to Poplar Street Bridge

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A new plan has been proposed to add a fifth the Poplar Street Bridge.  A proposal from consultants hired by the East-West Gateway Counsel of Government says that the existing bridge should be moved south 9 feet and another lane added.

This would allow traffic on the Poplar Street Bridge to access Illinois Route 3 in East St. Louis and Sauget.The proposal is because of a fight between Illinois and Missouri over the new Interstate 70 bridge.

Missouri proposed shutting off all access to I-70 from the Poplar Street Bridge once the new I-70 bridge is completed.

Illinois has objected to the MoDOT plan to get rid of access to Interstate 70 from the Poplar Street Bridge. Once the new I-70 span is completed in 2014. They say that would create major problems for Metro East commuters.

So engineering consultants hired by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments came up with a solution. Create Metro East access on the Poplar Street Bridge by adding a lane. And do that by physically sliding the entire deck of the PSB to the south.

The entire plan calls for a new ramp from the Martin Luther King Bridge to eastbound  I-64/40. Then the entire PSB would be moved and a new Metro East lane added.

None of this would be done until the new I-70 bridge is finished in 2014. It would not require any new money from Missouri and less than $20 million more from Illinois.