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Fewer drivers than expected are using a new Mississippi River bridge downtown.
The new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge carries Interstate 70 over the river between Illinois and Missouri. It had been projected to reduce traffic by as much as 50 percent of the Eads and Martin Luther King Bridges, and by 20 percent on the Poplar Street Bridge.
But that hasn't happened. KMOV-TV reports that data shows that since the Stan Span opened in February, the Eads Bridge has seen a decline of about 25 percent, and King Bridge traffic has dropped about 40 percent, but traffic on the Poplar is down only 7 percent.
Transportation officials say part of the issue is that traffic is up about 7 percent overall on all of the downtown bridges.
Motorists are reporting some confusing signs around one of the approaches to the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.
For the morning rush hour, drivers from the Illinois side on Interstate 70 noticed a closed sign over the exit for the bridge, even though the Stan Span is officially open. Some GPS units are not recognizing the bridge yet--although it appears Google Maps has updated to include the bridge.
Transportation officials are still optimistic and say the bridge will reduce traffic on the Poplar Street each morning by about 20 percent.]]>
Good news for commuters who cross the Mississippi River frequently.
The new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge is set to open on February 9. The Stan Span has been under construction since 2010. Workers connected the two sides of the bridge in July. The bridge comes with a price tag of around $230 million and is part of the larger $700 million Mississippi River Bridge Project.
The Stan Span will carry I-70 over the river.
Monday is the first morning commute since Illinois transportation crews closed a key stretch of Interstate 64.
All lanes of eastbound I-64 are closed between the I-55/70 split and 25th Street. And it's scheduled to remain closed until next Monday morning (Sept. 23).
The closure will allow crews to build connections to the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. IDOT reports that the new bridge across the Mississippi River is on track to open early next year (2014).