IDOT hearing on new I-270 Mississippi River bridge

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Plans to build a new Chain of Rocks Bridge will be discussed at a public meeting Wednesday afternoon in Granite City.

A new bridge is still a ways off, but the Illinois Department of Transportation has determined that it needs to be built.

Now citizens can have their say on the proposal.

IDOT points to several reasons for why the bridge needs to be replaced. Those are the age and condition of the bridge, increasing traffic volumes, and safety issues, including the bridge’s narrow shoulders and relatively high amount of crashes.

The bridge was built in 1966 and traffic has increased tremendously over the years.

IDOT says there were just under 20,000 vehicles a day using the bridge in 1975; now over 51,000 vehicles use the bridge daily.

At present, the Chain of Rocks Bridge only has two lanes each way. An issue up for discussion is whether a new bridge should have three lanes each way.

The public meeting open house runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Southwestern Illinois College Campus in Granite City. The campus is at 4950 Maryville Road.

IDOT and MoDOT officials will be on hand to answer questions and talk about exhibits of a new bridge.

The estimated cost of a new bridge is $225 million. At this point, there is no timeframe for when a new bridge might be completed.

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