ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A big relief to drivers around St. Louis County, especially for those near Kirkwood and Crestwood.

Starting Monday, MoDOT is reopening the Big Bend Bridge over Interstate 44. Crews will open one lane in each direction as well as the lanes to turn left onto the interstate before the evening rush hour. Crews expect to fully complete work around the bridge in November.

Drivers said even opening one lane in each direction is a big help for traffic. 

“My wife takes it every day on her way to work. So if she has to get to Sam’s, she’ll wait for her to get off of work to go,” said Bob Cosby.

Cosby takes a different route to get to his destination because of the closure. He said it only adds a little bit of time, but for other drivers in the area, the detours can add a lot of extra time. 

“I kind of had to use Lindbergh all the time, and that can be kind of a nightmare depending on what time of day it is. And with the bridge being closed, it is also busier than it normally is. So it’s definitely been rougher,” said John Williams.

MoDOT shut down the bridge back in April to tear down the existing bridge and build the new one. Officials said the original bridge was built in 1967 and needed a lot of repairs. Drivers are happy to see the bridge re-opening quickly. 

“It’s usually longer than expected, so I guess we had nice weather all summer,” said Cosby.

John Williams hopes the re-opening will help with traffic in the area. 

“I was using it pretty often. I would use it pretty much anytime I needed to get up to Kirkwood Commons because it’s a lot faster than trying to deal with Lindbergh,” said Williams.