Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blanchette Restrictions Go Smoothly; as Drivers Shift Routes, Drive Times

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Blanchette Restrictions Go Smoothly; as Drivers Shift Routes, Drive Times

Article excerpt

ST. CHARLES The shared Blanchette Bridge withstood its first drizzly commute Monday with just a few minor traffic hiccups.

Faced with the loss of two lanes in each direction on a one-mile stretch of Interstate 70, thousands of drivers flocked to the Page Avenue extension (Missouri Highway 364) and Highway 370 to get across the Missouri River.

Even with a little bit of rain, everything went really smoothly, said Ed Hassinger, the St. Louis district engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation. People did what we asked them to do and basically moved. We saw increases in traffic on 370 and 364 and a significant decrease on I-70. And thats exactly what we wanted people to do.

Now, all MoDOT asks is that motorists repeat Mondays performance each weekday while the westbound Blanchette Bridge span is being rebuilt. The $63 million rehab project is expected to be complete within a year.

During the upcoming months, I-70 will be squeezed from five normal traffic lanes in each direction to three tight lanes each way on the single span of the Blanchette. The posted work zone speed limit is 45 mph.

The heaviest increase in traffic volume Monday morning was on the Page Avenue extension (Route 364), where traffic was up about 1,000 vehicles during normal peak-hour flow with 7,148 vehicles.

We did have a fairly significant increase on Page Avenue, Hassinger said. Weve got a lot of capacity on Page Avenue. Thats a good thing. Weve got 10 lanes of traffic out there that usually is not near capacity.

In the meantime, eastbound traffic volume on the Blanchette Bridge dropped by about 20 percent of normal for the peak morning hour, to 4,196 vehicles between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m., officials said. Overall, the bridge carries about 160,000 cars a day in both directions on a typical day.

The peak traffic period also moved a little bit, meaning people changed what time they left home for work.

The situation was much the same during evening rush hour.

Basically what we saw today was good news, Hassinger said in an evening news conference. People did what we wanted them to do.

They shifted peak times and used alternative routes, he said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.