(KMOV) – The Missouri Department of Transportation says the Blanchette Bridge project will be finished by mid-August, about three months ahead of schedule.
MoDOT reduced the bridge on Interstate 70 to six lanes from 10 on November 2. Three lanes in each direction have been squeezed onto the eastbound bridge. A concrete barrier has divided the directions, but the roadways have no shoulders.
The work was initially expected to last until the fall of 2013.
“We are pleased to announce today that our reconstruction work is progressing ahead of the one year schedule,” said MoDOT St. Louis District Engineer Ed Hassinger. “The contractor, Walsh Construction, is pushing to open the bridge to traffic before the city’s annual Festival of the Little Hills in mid-August. That goal would be nearly three months ahead of the original schedule.”
Officials say rehabilitation to the 54-year-old westbound bridge cost about $63 million.
The shutdown followed the nearly two-year project to upgrade Highway 64 between west St. Louis County and the city. That project was completed in late 2009.