ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Drivers in south St. Louis County who use Interstate 44 need to consider alternate routes around town this Friday as the Missouri Department of Transportation will close the thoroughfare to begin bridge work.

According to a MoDOT spokesperson, work crews will close all lanes of I-44 at Big Bend Boulevard Friday night. Eastbound lanes will be closed between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., while westbound lanes will be closed between midnight and 1 a.m. Saturday, July 30.

Traffic will be routed over the ramps but drivers should expect much slower commutes.

Workers will begin placing the concrete for the deck of the new Big Bend bridge over I-44.

Three eastbound lanes are expected to reopen by 6 a.m. Saturday. Three westbound lanes should reopen by noon. One lane in each direction will remain closed through August.

Meanwhile, the Big Bend overpass will remain closed through August.