Interstate 70; New Mississippi River BridgeRoads of the Mid-South & West > Highways of the State of Illinois > Interstate 70; New Mississippi River Bridge
Roads of the Mid-South & West > Highways of the State of Missouri > Interstate 70; New Mississippi River Bridge
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are looking to build a new Mississippi River crossing north of Downtown St. Louis, Missouri. This is intended to remove traffic from the over-crowded Poplar Street Bridge. Currently the Poplar Street Bridge at Downtown St. Louis carries Interstate 55/64/70 and U.S. 40. The delay in construction is a result of both states being unable to find funding for the project.
When the bridge is built, Interstate 70 will be relocated on to the new bridge. The section that I-70 currently occupies through Downtown St. Louis, from the Poplar Street Bridge Complex to the new river bridge, will become Interstate 44. I-44 will be extened from it's current end with Interstate 55, south of downtown, to the new river bridge.
A interchange would be built on I-55/70 north of the Illinois 203 interchage. I-70 will run along the east and north sides of the Gateway International Raceway. Several local interchanges are planned. They will be located at IL 203, IL 3, and a connector to I-64.
A connector highway is also planned to be built. This will run from the current I-55/70; U.S. 40 interchange with East I-64 in East St. Louis, IL, and run north to the new I-70. It will give traffic the option to by-pass the downtown region.
The East-West Gateway Council of Goverment has voted in favor of building a coupler bridge on the north side of the Martin Luther King Bridge. In this plan Illinois would pay $261 million, the federal government would pay $239 million, and the East-West Gateway would pay the remaining $25 million. The only thing left would be getting the State of Missouri to allow the new bridge to connect to their roads. This option would not require tolls.*
The Missouri Department of Transportation Director Pete Rahn does nto intend to abandon the idea for a larger bridge north of Downtown St. Louis. San Antonio based Zachry American Infrastructure Inc. has proposed to build the bridge north of downtown and operate it. Tolls would be charged at a rate of $1-$6 dollars. This plan would require Illinois to build connector highways to the bridge at a cost near $460 million.**
The first contract for the new bridge project has been awarded to Fred Weber. It is for the removal and replacement of the Madison Street and St. Louis Avenue overpasses over Interstate 70 in St. Louis. Cass Avenue will also have it's over pass removed, but not replaced inmediantly.***
The Offical Project Web-site.
Illinois Department of Transportation Missouri Department of transportation
Looking east at the new bridge construction from IL 3.
Looking west at the new bridge construction from IL 3.
Looking north at the bridge from the MLK Bridge.
WB I-70 at the site of the new interchange.
Looking east at the bridge from the Missouri side.
EB I-70 at the new interchange. (May, 2013)
Looking east at the new Mississippi River Bridge. (May, 2013)
Looking at the almost finished crossing. (May, 2013)
WB I-64 near the new interchange.
WB I-64 t the new interchange.
Looking north at the new bridge from the MLK Jr Bridge.
Looking east at the new bridge from the Missouri side.
Looking east at the roadway leading to the bridge on the Illinois side from IL 3.
NB I-55/EB I-70; U.S. 40 at the new interchange.
SB I-55/WB I-70; U.S. 40 near the new interchange.
SB I-55/WB I-70; U.S. 40 at the new interchange.
* "Gov. Blagojevich applauds East West Gateway vote in favor of building new lanes across Mississippi River without imposing tolls" (Office of the Governor, Rod R. Blagojevich; Springfield, IL) 21 February 2007
** "Board endorses plan for coupler birdge" (Stltoday.com St. Louis Post-Dispatch; St. Louis, MO) 21 February 2007
*** "First construction contract awarded for new Mississippi River bridge" (Stltoday.com St. Louis Post-Dispatch; St. Louis, MO) 4 June 2009