St. Louis river bridge to close for 4 months of upgrades

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ A key Mississippi River bridge between St. Louis and Illinois soon will be closed for at least four months for roughly $16 million of improvements.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( reports the Martin Luther King Bridge will shut down starting Monday so crews can remove the deck, replace the middle truss span and make structural steel repairs and paint.

As an Illinois Department of Illinois project engineer, Jeff Church says drivers should use the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge as a detour.

IDOT says 26,700 vehicles use the King bridge each day, and the Missouri Department of Transportation says about 40,000 drivers travel the Stan Musial bridge.

The bridge opened as the Veterans Memorial Bridge in 1951 as a toll bridge built by East St. Louis, Illinois, for $10.5 million.