(KMOV) – Missouri Department of Transportation officials say weather could negatively affect plans to close a section of I-64 this weekend to demolish two bridges in the Central West End.
MoDOT planned to close all of I-64 from Hampton to Forest Park from 8 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Monday.
While the interstate is closed, crews will remove the Taylor and Newstead bridges over I-64. The ramps from McCausland/Skinker, Hampton and Kingshighway to eastbound I-64 will be closed as well.
In addition, the ramps from Pine, Jefferson, Market and Grant to westbound I-64 will not be open.
The detour for westbound I-64 will be to get off the interstate at the Forest Park Avenue exit (exit 38A) and follow Forest Park Avenue to Kingshighway. After turning left onto Kingshighway, drivers will follow Kingshighway back to the interstate.
The detour for eastbound I-64 will be to get off the interstate at the Hampton Avenue exit (exit 34B), turn right on Hampton and follow it to eastbound Interstate 44. Drivers can then take I-44 to the Poplar Street Bridge.
Motorists attending this weekend’s festivities in downtown St. Louis are urged to use I-44, I-70 or I-55.
Deanna Venker with MoDOT said they were monitoring potential rain forecasts and would know by Friday morning if construction plans will be changed.
When I-64 reopens Monday, the highway will have narrowed and shifted lanes between Kingshighway and Vandeventer. Crews are striping the three 10-foot lanes in each direction and shifting traffic to the middle of the interstate during the weekend closure.
But Venker said temperatures need to be above 32 and dry to restripe the roads.
The Vandeventer Avenue ramp to westbound I-64 is expected to remain closed until fall 2013.
During the ongoing construction for the Tower Grove project, MoDOT will keep three lanes open in each direction on I-64 between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays. The department will close up to two of those open lanes for construction work on overnight night hours and weekends.
“With narrowed and shifted lanes, we expect to have some congestion in this area, especially during morning and evening rush periods. All commuters have several options to avoid congestion,” Venker said. “Long distance commuters – heading from downtown to west St. Louis County – can consider using I-44 or I-70 to detour around the construction. People nearer to the construction can use Chouteau/Manchester or Forest Park Avenue to avoid the congestion.”