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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.]]>
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has joined his Missouri counterpart and others at a ribbon-cutting for a new bridge over the Mississippi at St. Louis.
The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge is opening to traffic Sunday.
The two states spent years fighting over how to pay for the $700 million span, then argued over what to name the bridge.
But on Saturday officials from both states came together to celebrate its completion.
Quinn said the first new link to be built between downtown St. Louis and southwestern Illinois in more than four decades will be a "catalyst for business development and job creation."
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called it "a road to opportunity."
It's designed to relieve I-70 traffic on the chronically crammed 50-year-old Poplar Street Bridge.]]>
Another interstate closure will delay drivers in the metro-east this weekend.
The Illinois Department of Transportation will shut down westbound Interstate 55/70 between IL Rte. 203 and the I-64 merge starting at 9:00 p.m. Friday.
Eastbound Interstate 64 will remain closed this weekend between 25th Street the split.
Detours using Interstate 255 will be marked.
Both closures are related to the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River. Both highways should reopen by Monday morning; Westbound I-55/70 by 5:00 a.m.. Eastbound I-64 by 9:00 a.m.