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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) – Missouri Department of Transportation plans to shift downtown traffic starting Friday in anticipation of opening the new Walnut Street Bridge.

Between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., crews will permanently close northbound Memorial between Walnut and Pine Street and close southbound Memorial between Chestnut and Market streets, and they will also reverse traffic on Memorial between Walnut and Market around Ely Smith Park.

Crews will be installing signs and preparing for the rerouting of traffic, according to MoDOT.

The new Walnut Street Bridge over Interstate 44 will open Friday afternoon.

The shifts and reopening are a part of the plans for the CityArchRiver Park Over the Highway project.

Going into downtown, Interstate 70 is now known as I-44 since the opening of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. Therefore, eastbound I-44 drivers will be able to take the new Washington Avenue exit since the Memorial Drive exit will be inaccessible, and drivers coming from Poplar Street Bridge can exit on Walnut.

If you're leaving downtown, drivers can use Walnut to access I-44, southbound Interstate 55 or eastbound Interstate 64.

The next phase involves constructing the bridge over I-44.

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