ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOV) -- Drivers who live in St. Charles County should prepare for a different – and slower – commute. MoDOT is gearing up for a year-long rehabilitation of the westbound I-70 Blanchette Bridge.
The project begins in early November but MoDOT said construction work leading up to the closure will begin this summer. Three weekends from mid-June to early August will involve lane closures on I-70, MoDOT spokesperson Linda Wilson said. Those closures will take place on I-70, Earth City Expressway, and ramps at the interchange.
In November, crews will close the westbound I-70 Blanchette Bridge and shift lanes to the eastbound bridge. Lanes in each direction will be reduced from five to three, Wilson said. The lanes will be narrower and there will be no shoulder on that stretch of I-70.
The bridge carries 160,000 drivers each day. Many drivers use the Blanchette to access Main Street in Historic St. Charles. Businesses say they are anxious about the project.
“Especially for holiday season,” Marilyn Keevin, owner of Canine Cookies N Cream Dog Bakery said. "We have a lot of customers that use 70, especially people that are coming from St. Louis that are traveling here. We have lots of tourists that come in."
The primary detour for the Blanchette Bridge project is Route 370. Route 364 (Page Avenue) is a second option drivers should take to avoid congestion, particularly during peak rush hours.
MoDOT will hold two public meetings about the Blanchette Bridge project:
St Charles: Thursday, May 24 4-7 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Fellowhip Hall, 115 S. Sixth Street
Maryland Heights: Wednesday, May 30 4-7 p.m. at Maryland Heights Government Center Court Room, 11911 Dorsett Road
Wilson said the three weekend closures in the summer have not been determined. The dates will largely depend on schedules at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheater, she said.