ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Thousands of drivers were stuck on Interstate 64/Highway 40 as a construction issue left only one eastbound lane open during Thursday’s evening rush hour.
Some drivers say it took over an hour to go a mile. The lanes reopened at 6:45 p.m., but the same issue could come up again Friday.
The problem stems from steel plates used to cover the ongoing work. When crews wrap up each day they bolt down steel plates over unfinished work. That way the lanes can reopen with traffic driving over the plates.
MoDOT engineers say traffic is going too fast on 64/40 downtown in the 45 MPH construction zone.
“Traffic has been going too fast over the top of (the steel plates),” said MoDOT engineer Deanna Venker. “And it has trouble keeping them down enough to keep them in place.”
Drivers expressed their frustration on the KMOV.com Facebook page. “I work off Skinker and live in Belleville,” wrote Mark Bagby. “It took me 2 hours and 15 minutes to get home.”
Brandy Ducey wrote, “Fifty minutes to get from SLU Hospital to 11th and Washington in downtown St. Louis. Unreal!”
Venker says MoDOT has been having the same issue with the steel plates on the westbound lanes under construction and have been working on a solution.
“We’ve got a new system we’re going to be putting in over the weekend to help keep the bolts in place,” said Venker.
But that new system won’t be implemented until Friday evening. So there’s a potential the plates will come un-bolted again on Friday. News 4 will stay on top of the situation.