Interstate 70 at the Blanchette Missouri River bridge will be completely closed for one hour Tuesday, December 4, weather permitting. Crews will be blasting the remaining two sections of the steel truss on the closed westbound I-70 Blanchette Bridge, and the area must be cleared from approximately 10 a.m. until 11 a.m.
Beginning at 9 a.m., crews will close one lane on I-70 in both directions. At 10 a.m., all eastbound I-70 traffic will be detoured off the highway at Route 94 and directed to Route 364 where they can proceed eastbound on Route 364 to Interstate 270 and back north to I-70. All westbound I-70 traffic will be detoured off the highway at I-270. Motorists will be directed to Route 370 and then west on Route 370 back to I-70. Police will block the other access points to the closed section of I-70 at the Route 94, Fifth Street and Earth City Expressway/Route 141 interchanges. Motorists are strongly advised to avoid I-70 on Tuesday, December 4 from 9-11 a.m.
Once the area is secured after 10 a.m., the bridge will be blasted and dropped into the river where it will be removed in pieces. The blast will occur at approximately 10:15 a.m. Crews will then have to sweep the eastbound I-70 bridge to clear any debris before the highway can be reopened to traffic. It is expected this process will take approximately one hour. In case of inclement weather, the blasting will be postponed until the next dry day.
This blast will be visible from the St. Charles riverfront for public viewing. The blast only lasts a moment, but it will drop over 1,000 feet of truss, including 4.5 million pounds of steel into the Missouri River. The area immediately adjacent to the bridge including Bangert Island Conservation Area and parts of the Riverwoods Trail will be closed for safety.
The 54 year old westbound I-70 Blanchette Missouri River bridge is undergoing a $63 million rehabilitation. Approximately 75 percent of the bridge is being replaced or rehabilitated including the removal and reconstruction of the steel truss and the entire bridge deck and barrier. The piers will remain in place.
The bridge was closed November 4, 2012, and will reopen by fall 2013. I-70 has been reduced from five lanes in each direction to three lanes in each direction all using the eastbound bridge. For more information on the project, visit www.modot.org/blanchettebridge..