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Road work beginning on 'lid' over I-70 at the Arch

by Diana Zoga / News 4

Posted on October 4, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 5 at 6:30 AM

ST. LOUIS ( -- Starting this Sunday, road crews will close lanes on Memorial Drive to prepare for construction work on a lid over a portion of the depressed lanes of I-70 in front of the Gateway Arch.

Every Sunday through Thursday night for the next three weeks, crews will drill into the pavement on Memorial Drive between Washington Avenue and the Poplar Street Bridge.  Closures begin at 7 p.m. and will last until 5, the following morning.

Deanna Venker, MoDOT's area engineer in the City of St. Louis, says crews will always keep at least one lane open in each direction, but up to two lanes may close for exploratory work ahead of the final design plans for the lid. 

"We plan to finish up our design by early next year and start construction by late summer of next year in 2013," said Venker.

Crews will drill through the pavement to the bedrock to determine what the soil and rock makeup is before finalizing lid construction plans.

So far, around $57 million (the bulk of it is federal and state money) has been set aside to construct the lid in time for the Arch's 50th anniversary in 2015.

Critics complained the plans were fast-tracked for the anniversary and that there needs to be more.

This year, Governor Jay Nixon signed a bill that allows the city, county, and St. Charles county to ask voters for a sales tax hike to pay for area park and Arch ground improvements. 

Venker says any road work on Memorial Drive this October will pause for traffic driving to and from potential Cardinals post-season home games.