Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Four Lanes of Kingshighway to Open by Year's End, Summer Roadwork Set for Metro East

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Four Lanes of Kingshighway to Open by Year's End, Summer Roadwork Set for Metro East

Article excerpt

The elevator at the Terminal 2 MetroLink station atLambert-St. Louis International Airportwill be closed for repairs for five days beginning Monday. This station serves Southwest Airlines flights. Those who need the elevator should go to Terminal 1, where a shuttle will be provided. This likely will add 10 to 20 minutes in travel time. Passengers who can use stairs can still get to the Terminal 2 station.

Four lanes on Kingshighway between Shaw Boulevard and Vandeventer/ Southwest avenues are slated to open to traffic by the end of the year, the St. Louis Streets Department says good news for those detouring around what was, until last summer, among the busiest stretches in the city.

That portion of road closed July 6 so crews could demolish the 78- year-old viaduct and build a new bridge.

The last chunk of the crumbling span was removed in October. Structural steel girders for the new bridge have been fabricated, but are not in place, according to the streets department.

At first glance, it doesn't look like a lot is happening. That's because crews now are focusing on utility and sewer work. So unless you're peeking below ground, progress isn't all that obvious.

Mark Sommer navigates around the closure a few times a week as he makes his way north to meet friends for coffee at 6 a.m. in the Central West End, and wondered why he didn't see much happening.

"Visually, it didn't look like they were doing much," he said.

He encounters more traffic headaches as he heads south on Kingshighway, when traffic stacks up in the right lane to enter westbound Interstate 44.

And once past that, there's the detour to contend with.

"It's congested," said Sommer, 62. "But that's understandable and there's not much you can do about it."

Traffic estimates for that portion of Kingshighway, which connects south St. Louis to Interstate 44 and Highway 40 (Interstate 64), have ranged from 40,000 to 55,000 cars per day. It had long been in disrepair it was saturated with salt, with deteriorating concrete and chunks breaking off the columns before being knocked down piece by piece.

The streets department says curb, sidewalk and electrical rough- ins are being built on the west side of Kingshighway between Interstate 44 and Shaw. Crews are lining sewers, a job expected to be done in about a month, and working on water main connections to establish new service connections for customers connected to the existing 20-inch water main under Kingshighway.

A concrete barrier is being built for the eastbound Interstate 44 exit ramp, and work is underway on the reconstruction of Shaw east of Kingshighway, which ultimately will be relocated southward at Kingshighway to align with Shaw on the west side of Kingshighway.

Laclede Gas and Ameren Missouri are done with their relocation work, and AT&T and Charter are working toward that goal. …

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