ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – On Sunday the switch-over started and Monday will be the 1st big test for the Blanchette Bridge project. All westbound traffic is now on the eastbound span, which has been restriped for 3 lanes of traffic in each direction.
MoDOT is encouraging drivers to take the Page Avenue extension or Highway 370. The traffic will not return back to normal until next fall.
“A small fender bender could back up traffic for miles very quickly,” said Tom Evers, MoDOT spokesman.
That’s because there are no shoulders on the bridge for cars to pull over. There are signs on the bridge reminder drivers to stop somewhere else if they are involved in a minor accident.
“We also have motor assist vehicles and law enforcement who will quickly come to the site and try to clear the issue out as fast as possible,” said Evers.
MoDOT will have a camera pointed on the bridge to monitor traffic and help 1st responders with any emergencies.
One area of concern is the merge from I-270 to I-70. Evers says MoDOT has a number of its electronic billboards along 270 encouraging drivers to take the alternate routes and hopes that helps.
Some drivers are already planning to take alternates while others are taking a wait and see approach.
“My best bet from where I come from is to stay on 70,” said one commuter. “But on the way home I got a little better shot coming home Page.”
Another commuter said she planned on staying on 70 in hopes others will choose the alternates.
It could take several days before commuters decide which route works best for them.