St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - Getting into St. Louis from Illinois could be slow going Monday and Tuesday morning.
Missouri Department of Transportation crews opened only one lane of westbound Interstate 64 before Monday morning rush hour. That lane will not stay open all day, though; MoDOT will close the interstate on the westbound side at 10 a.m.
MoDOT closed the westbound lanes from Broadway to 21st Street on Friday to resurface the double-decker bridge beside Busch Stadium. But before the road can be resurfaced, crews had to chip out and repair the bad spots in the concrete.
It turns out the damage was more extensive than they anticipated.
To get into downtown Monday and Tuesday morning, commuters should use the McKinley, JB, MLK, or Eads bridges instead of the Poplar Street Bridge. MoDOT also suggests using Metrolink.
"We did one section two weeks ago, and that went pretty well. This section we're doing right now, it's in really tough shape. A lot of bad concrete and we got to get it out so we can put a new surface down," MoDOT District Engineer Ed Hassinger said.
Hassinger was asked what was different about the section next to Busch Stadium.
"You know we really don't know why the difference," he said. "We did all the preliminary testing and some spots were worse than others, but overall it looked about the same. Then we peeled up the first layer and it was bad. So I don't know if it was nature or what it was made of, or what."
Hassinger said westbound drivers will be able to exit from the PSB to I-70 or I-55, but officials suggest those drivers instead take the Chain of Rocks Bridge, Jefferson Barracks, or MLK.
"Those alternates are going to be better for you than getting through on 64," he said.
Hassinger said the double-deck bridge is 50-years-old, and the last overlay was 30 years ago.
Crews will remain working around the clock to get the road repaired and reopened. Due to the extensive repairs needed on I-64, MoDOT will close all the lanes on Tuesday morning as well. Commuters are encouraged to make plans to find alternate routes to downtown St. Louis.
As a result of the road closure, Metro officials remind motorists that Metrolink is a good alternative for Illinois commuters. Metro Transit will closely monitor Metrolink platforms for overcrowding Monday morning and officials are prepared to add extra trains, as needed.