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Businesses not looking forward to year to lane closures

12:22 AM, Nov 5, 2012   |    comments
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St. Charles, MO (KSDK)-- The westbound span on the Blanchette bridge officially closed over the weekend and will be closed for about a year while crews make repairs.

Both directions are now sharing six lanes on the eastbound bridge. This closure will affect thousands of people including businesses.

160,000 vehicles travel the bridge everyday and now those vehicles will be squeezed through just three lanes each way. MoDOT is hoping drivers take advantage of alternate routes and crossing their fingers that the delay is only five minutes.

Keeping close watch is engineer Thomas Evers, who will monitor the situation Monday morning which is the true test.

"Watching 270, 370, and the Page extension to see how traffic is flowing differently on Monday," says Evers.

Wishing it was already fall of 2013 are the employees at Bellacino's.

"We have a lot of catering on the other side of the bridge during the week," says server Olivia Easter.

She has worked at the restaurant for three years and says they never had to deal with such a change, but it's not just about their delivery service, it's also just getting people in the door.

"They don't want to sit in traffic especially since they've been sitting in rush hour traffic," says Easter.

Tthe silver lining in what seems like a very long year ahead, is the prospect of increased traffic flow near 370.

"It could help us generate some business," says Mr. Goodcents manager Kelsey Riley.

She says their delivery business won't be hurt, but she's hoping the increase in traffic outside will increase the traffic inside.

Evers says they are bound to have some issues Monday morning. The project is supposed to take a year, but the contractors get incentives if they complete the project early.

Let's cross our fingers for that.

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