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Big Bend over I-270 bridge replacement

Work on this project has begun and crews are anticipating closing the bridge at the end of May to start the replacement. Once the bridge closes, crews have three months to reopen the bridge to traffic.


What is the problem?

The Big Bend bridge over I-270, built in 1962, needs significant repairs to ensure that it continues to remain safe and operational for the foreseeable future.

Big Bend bridge porposal Overhead view

To see a larger version of this, please click one of these links:

Side view (pdf | jpg)

Overhead (pdf | jpg )

What is the proposal?

MoDOT plans to close the bridge for several months next summer while school is out. While the bridge is closed, crews will remove and replace the concrete deck. There are no plans to replace girders on the bridge or make any changes to the foundation. When the work is finished, there will be five driving lanes across the bridge, as well as a sidewalk protected by a barrier on each side.

Why can’t MoDOT keep the bridge open by replacing one direction at a time?

That was an option MoDOT reviewed.  There are several reasons why closing the roadway is a more responsible choice. The biggest reason is that MoDOT can complete the work during the school summer break when traffic is lower and won’t impact the daily bus traffic for schools. Replacing one direction at a time will double the length of construction and will be more costly.

Will MoDOT make this a full interchange?

No – for two reasons – the railroad bridge and safety. MoDOT would be unable to construct safe access to the south because the railroad bridge is simply too close. In addition, the roadway drops significantly from Big Bend into the Meramec River valley. A ramp would have to follow the angle of that drop and merge onto I-270 interstate almost at I-44. Merging that close to the interstate to interstate interchange would be unsafe.

Will there be posted detours?

There are several state, county and city roadways that can be used to detour around the project.  Since this roadway is primarily used by local traffic, MoDOT has no plans to sign any particular route as a detour.

alternate routes

To see a larger version, please click on one of the links (pdf | jpg)

What are the expected impacts?

With roughly 12,000 to 16,000 vehicles using this roadway daily (depending on whether you are east or west of I-270) there will be impacts. Drivers should give themselves extra time as they travel to allow for increased traffic on alternate routes. The department will keep the ramps open from southbound I-270 to westbound Big Bend and from westbound Big Bend to northbound I-270 as much as possible.

What is the schedule?

Construction is scheduled while school is out.  Work is scheduled to start when school lets out and will be complete before school starts in August.


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