ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- MoDOT faced two major roadblocks Sunday afternoon on two separate Interstates within two hours. As a result, drivers are advised to change their Monday morning commutes.
MoDOT said a metal storm grate made to collect rain water collapsed on westbound I-44 near the Grand exit Sunday around 2:30 p.m. As a result, that section of westbound I-44 will be reduced to one lane. One westbound lane of the interstate reopened around 6:30 a.m. Monday.
MoDOT said heavy traffic is the main cause of the collapse. It's unsure how long it'll take crews to fix the grate.
"That's sort of what our job is to do, keep our roads and bridges safe and passable and unfortunately sometimes they wear out a little faster than we expect and surprise us and we have to make the tough decision to close lanes or to close entire interstates," St. Louis District Engineer Tom Blair said.
Crews completely closed down the westbound I-255 lanes crossing the Jefferson Barracks Bridge after cracks were found on the bridge around 4 p.m. Sunday.
A routine inspection revealed cracks in parts of the steel beams connecting the arches that hold the bridge above the river. The bridge was built in 1985 and inspections take place every two years.
MoDOT will keep traffic off the bridge until the problem is appropriately handled.
On Monday, MoDOT officials advised regular commuters to plan alternate routes at least until the end of the week.
"Due to the nature of those cracks and the locations, it's what we consider a critical finding that we need to make sure we have a full extent of what the problem is," Bridge Engineer Joe Molinaro said.
MoDOT said the eastbound and westbound bridges are separate. No significant problems were found on the eastbound bridge.
MoDOT suggests using the Poplar Street Bridge or the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Sunday that I-255 between the Jefferson Barracks Bridge and Illinois Route 3 near Columbia will be restricted to one lane in each direction beginning Monday, May 13, weather permitting. These restrictions will take place every day between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Repairs are expected to be completed by Friday, May 17.
News 4 will update you once repairs are made.