Business Owners Bracing for Blanchette Bridge Closure

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ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI) -- St. Charles business owners braced themselves for the loss of all westbound lanes on the Blanchette Bridge over the Missouri River.

But, the general manager at the Ameristar Hotel and Casino wanted to be clear about one thing: The bridge would still be open.
"We do have our website linked up,' Jim Franke pointed out. 'First of all if you go to Ameristar.com to the St. Charles property under 'Information', there's directions to the property. If you click back, it's going to show those two alternate routes to get to the property.'

So, St. Charles mayor Sally Faith started a massive marketing campaign with signage directing drivers to detour routes and the historic St. Charles business district. The owner of Grandma`s Cookies, Theresa Rubio, used her Facebook page to let customers know that she would be baking right through the year-long construction project. The synergy between St. Charles commerce and government could be what keeps revenues up while Mo-DOT shuts down the westbound lanes of the Blanchette right before the start of the holiday shopping season.

Ramp and lane closures were scheduled for Friday, November 2, 2012 at noon. Mo-DOT expected to have all westbound traffic on some of the eastbound lanes in time for the morning rush on Monday, November 5th.

The Blanchette Bridge opened to Interstate-70 traffic in the late 1950`s. In recent years, Mo-DOT has shut down lanes several times to patch up the aging bridge. Engineers said the structure needed to be completely rebuilt to keep the bridge safe and to minimize construction-induced headaches for drivers. The Blanchette was just one of several structures ordered to be built by the late U.S. President Dwight D Eisenhower, as part of his new interstate transportation system.

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