Proposed plan aims to clear up 5th Street exit in St. Charles


by Staff

Posted on February 12, 2014 at 5:43 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 13 at 6:23 AM

( — Thousands of motorists use the Blanchette Bridge in and out of St. Charles.

Wednesday it was announced big changes will be coming.            

Officials in St, charles County say nearly half of the traffic coming over the bridge exits at Fifth Street or Route 94 and the area is dangerous because of heavy traffic back-ups.

It’s one of the busiest segments of Interstate 70 in Missouri.

Thousands of motorists exit to go to the nearby Ameristar Casino or the Bass Pro Shop in the Mark Twain Village shopping mall.

“There are days still when traffic even backs up the ramp onto the highway even with the improvements we’ve already made,” said St. Charles City Councilman Dave Beckering.

A proposed $10-15 million plan calls for creating one-way outer roads to address the problem.

Further west in St. Charles County, such roadways have drawn criticism from businesses who feel they would make it inconvenient for customers.

But Beckering says only a small number of businesses would be affected and there’s been no outcry over the plan.

The proposal would also create another “diverging diamond interchange. One such interchange was implemented at Mid-rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters in an effort to smooth out traffic flow there.

The final piece of the plan would add a lane to I-70 along with exit and entrance ramps to get traffic into the Mark Twain Village.

“So what’ll happen is when they have a big promotion instead of having to get off on fifth street, get into the traffic lanes and a light to go left, you’ll be able to able to get off on the service road to fairgrounds, take a right , another right, no lights and then into the mall,” Beckering said.

The cost will be covered by St. Charles County and MoDOT, and Beckering said no funding will come from the city. 

Residents can see the plans and weigh in at an open house Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the County Administration Building on North Second Street.