ST. LOUIS - A call from a concerned NewsChannel 5 employee may have saved some pedestrians from injury.
On his way in to work Tuesday, employee Ed Rich noticed chunks of concrete on the ground beneath the double decker Interstate 64 overpass at 11th Street. When he looked up, it was clear the pieces of concrete had fallen from the bridge above.
Rich called the Missouri Department of Transportation to report his concern, and engineers responded by taping off the potential hazard.
According to MoDOT engineer Deanna Venker, a decorative part of the bridge cracked off and has nothing to do with structural safety. Five years ago, crews patched parts of the old concrete with some product, but due to the weather, it didn't hold.
"You got the old and the new and they don't adhere the greatest. And with the freeze thaw that happens with the winter weather, it will cause it to pop off," said Venker.
MoDOT will be out this week scraping the rest of the damaged concrete. Perhaps the strangest part of this story is that the same thing happened exactly four years ago Tuesday. Large chunks of concrete fell from a nearby section of I-64 landing on cars and leaving them with dents and shattered windshields.
MoDOT stresses the bridge is safe and that it is the decorative edges that have had issues in the past.
Venker explained that water seeps into crevices on the structure's edge making it more vulnerable to the freeze thaw effects of winter.