I-70 Missouri River Bridge (Blanchette Bridge)
Connecting St. Charles and St. Louis Counties
Westbound Blanchette Bridge Project
The $64 million rehabilitation of the westbound Interstate 70 Missouri River Bridge (Blanchette Bridge) will keep the westbound bridge closed from November 2012 until late summer 2013 (almost three months ahead of the original November 2013 deadline).
During the westbound closure, the eastbound bridge is carrying three lanes in each direction with 10 foot lanes and no shoulders. Normally, the bridges carry five lanes in each direction. With the reduction of two lanes, traffic is expected to have lengthy backups eastbound during the morning rush and westbound during the evening rush. Motorists should consider Route 370 as an alternate. Route 370 connects from I-270 in St. Louis County to I-70 in St Peters in St Charles County. See Schedule for more details.
Starting November 5, 2012 - I-70 reduced to three lanes open for each direction. This lane reduction is around the clock.
August 2013 – Westbound Blanchette Bridge reopens. The exact date is not available but we anticipate mid August.
Photos show the installation of the new steel truss replacement on the westbound I-70 bridge. Left photo was taken April 3, 2013, and the right photo shows the last piece of steel being installed May 15, 2013..
Click Here for map showing alternate Missouri River bridge crossings and options to get in and out of the businesses of St. Charles.
What’s the Problem?
Westbound I-70 bridge over the Missouri River was built in the late 1950s. It is in serious need of major repairs. Major river crossings are designed to last 100 years with a major overall needed at 50 years. Without major repairs, the bridge will continue to fall into disrepair and emergency repairs will be required at more frequent internals with longer traffic closures. These repairs will become increasingly more expensive.
The westbound I-70 Blanchette Bridge includes a total of 23 spans. Of those, the main three spans over the Missouri River have the overhead steel truss.
The rehabilitation of the Westbound I-70 Bridge will include:
Removal and replacement of the existing truss spans with new trusses.
Replacement of the complete driving surface, edge barrier walls and all expansion joints
Elimination of the three spans nearest to the St. Louis County end and their conversion to roadway on embankment
Repair all remaining concrete substructure units including replacement of some parts
Complete replacement of the structural steel in the first nine spans of the bridge on the St. Charles County side
Repair of the structural steel components of the long girder spans and the truss spans
Repainting of all existing structural steel
General Traffic Impacts
Construction work will begin early summer 2012 with off peak lane closures. The contractor plans to close the westbound bridge the weekend of Nov 2-4. It will remain closed until Fall 2013. During the closure, the eastbound I-70 bridge will have three lanes of traffic for each direction. Route 370 and Route 364 will serve as the major alternate routes to cross the Missouri River.
This image also shows all ramps at Fifth Street will be open except for the ramp from northbound Fifth Street to eastbound I-70. This ramp does not have enough room to merge traffic into the condensed lanes of three in each direction on the bridge. Northbound Fifth Street traffic will have a signed detour on Veterans Memorial to Route 94 to access eastbound I-70.
Click Here for information on the City of St. Charles Transit System including limited service to Hanley MetroLink.
Click Here for information on how to form carpools through RideFinders.
Route 370 Temporary Bike Lane Closure
MoDOT closed the bike lane on the Route 370 Missouri River bridge in November 2011. The Route 370 bridge is restriped to add a fourth lane on 370 between Earth City Expressway and Route 94. The extra lane will help traffic during the closure of the westbound I-70 bridge. The fourth lane on Route 370 will be removed in 2014 and the bike lane will be restriped. During the closure, cyclists should use Route 364 Page Avenue to cross the Missouri River. A detour map showing how to get from Route 370 to Route 94 is attached.