ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Despite their hopes to provide at timetable for when the westbound side of the JB Bridge could reopen, MoDOT officials said Wednesday they aren't comfortable providing a hard date.
A routine inspection revealed cracks in parts of the steel beams connecting the arches that hold the bridge above the river Sunday, the most significant of which was six feet long.
Engineers described the crack as "fracture critical," and shut down the bridge to motorists in the interest of public safety.
The bridge was built in 1985 and inspections take place every two years.
Subsequent inspections revealed cracks at the archways on both ends of the bridge, and further analysis is required before repairs can begin.
Crews also inspected the eastbound bridge, but have not found damage.
Regular I-255 commuters are advised by MoDOT to find alternative routes for the foreseeable future.
Highly specialized inspection teams are analyzing the findings and MoDOT said it brought in equipment from Chicago and Jefferson City, and flew in an additional specialist from Seattle.
Because the inspection needs to be done in daylight, MoDOT expects the inspection to be completed Wednesday. The department will create a timeline for repairs once the inspection is finished.