Concerns arise over safety of Chouteau Bridge in west St. Louis -

Concerns arise over safety of Chouteau Bridge in west St. Louis

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By Belo Content KMOV By Belo Content KMOV

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Officials say they are concerned over the safety of the Chouteau Bridge, which spans from 39th Street to Vandeventer in west St. Louis.

According to MoDOT, the two bridges that carry Chouteau towards Vandeventer have the sidewalks closed off and a special pedestrian lane created because of cracks.

The bridge was built in 2007 for $11.7 million, an amount residents think should’ve given St. Louis drivers and pedestrians a bridge that would last.

“It’s part of doing business but that’s what our job is, to go through and make sure our bridges are in good shape.  This one is not, though.  It is not in good shape,” said Deanna Venker with MoDOT.

MoDOT inspectors discovered cracks along the sidewalk of the bridge, which was built using a design that MoDOT no longer uses after a disaster along I-55 in 2007. That’s when part of a concrete sidewalk collapsed and fell onto the interstate.

Now stuck with the same design, MoDOT is trying to determine what kind of shape the Chouteau Bridge is in and if things will get worse.

“Right now we’re going back and taking a look at the information from the dynamic loading testing that we’ve done so the designers can go back and determine if it was designed correctly and or constructed correctly,” said Venker.

MoDOT insists the bridge is safe for the 10,000 cars and trucks that cross it every day.

But inspectors they say are keeping a close eye on it.

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