MoDOT: Alternate routes helping ease stress on Blanchette Bridge

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by Angie Weidinger / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on November 5, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 6 at 7:00 AM

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- MoDOT numbers show drivers are using alternate routes after it shut down the westbound Blanchette bridge on Interstate 70 in St. Charles. 

Due to the bridgework, westbound and eastbound traffic is sharing the eastbound side of the bridge.  From 4:45-5:45 p.m., nearly 4,500 vehicles traveled west across the bridge. That’s about 2,500 fewer than normal.  However, it’s suggested alternate route of Route 364 saw about 2,500 more vehicles.

Most drivers News 4 spoke with said the traffic was much better than they anticipated it would be.
 
”I thought it was going to be terrible,” said Carrie Hicks who regularly travels across the Blanchette Bridge to get to work. “But, it wasn’t at all. It took me ten minutes. That’s what it takes me everyday.”
Hicks said she did have some troubles with new signage, though.

”It’s weird.  I got off on the wrong exit by mistake,” she said.

Even those who normally use what became the alternate routes - Route 364 across the river to 94 and North to I-70 or I-270 North to 370 and then West on 370 across the River and back down to I-70 - expected much worse.

”Page was a little bit more congested,” said Rachel MacDonald. “But, for the most part, it opened up and it was fine.”

MoDOT believes those alternate routes will keep traffic moving throughout the year-long project.

“We have the excess capacity on Page Ave, we have it on 370 by striping the extra lanes but we really don’t have a lot of excess capacity on 70,” said Ed Hassinger, MoDOT St. Louis District Engineer. “So, everybody cannot go back to 70 and everything be alright.”

MoDOT will continue to monitor traffic flow throughout this week and will post traffic patterns.  For more information on the project, click here: www.modot.org/blanchettebridge

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