St. Louis is a major metropolitan area with 4 major interstate highways slicing into the city like some concrete pizza.
There is quaint I55 connecting us North and South to Chicago and Memphis. It skirts the major part of the city, going along the Mighty Mississippi river.
There is mighty I70 going West and North East, connecting us to Kansas City (and further to Colorado) and Indianapolis (and further to the East Coast).
There is my favorite I44, coming up from the South West (say Branson, or Oklahoma City) and then ending peacefully in St. Louis.
But the busiest of all is Highway 64. Sure, it doesn't go directly anywhere special (Terre Haute in.) in the East, and it fades away to a local US Highway 40 once it reaches St. Louis, but it has one distinct advantage.
It bisects St. Louis, from the downtown river front to the snootiest of St. Louis suburbs, it divides the city.
So what have the wonderful people at the Missouri Department of Transportation decided to do with this major artery of St. Louis commerce?
They are closing 5 miles of it.
Oh, not for ever, just long enough to rebuild it into a faster, safer, more capable artery.
They plan it should be closed for only 1 year.
1 YEAR, without 5 miles of THE major automotive artery that bisects the city.
And when they are done--well, they'll close another 5 mile section for another year to redo that one.
For the past year they've taken all the logical adjoining roads and tried to prep them for the tens of thousands of extra traffic they will be seeing.
I carpool with my wife and son every day. She works at one school, he goes to another 1.5 miles away. Both of them are the closest secondary road to the soon-to-be closed highway.
My wife used to take a leisurely wall along the bike lanes of this quiet road to visit our son on warm days.
To prepare for the closing the obliterated the bike lanes/walking areas to widen this quiet road and add a center turn lane.
I can take I44 to get to my work, avoiding this mess, when I am not car pooling.
To prepare for the closing they have restriped I 44, adding one lane in each direction by making all the lanes narrower.
And the paint job was so rushed, that at times you can not tell where one lane ends and another begins. In any kind of rain, darkness or ice old lane markers suddenly become more visible than the new ones.
All this change begins 1/2/08. I am betting we'll see the problems make national news by 1/15/08.
So.. Highway 64 that is a closing is a State Highway, not a federal or U.S. one? (since you said the MODOT decided the closing).
I-44 is enough of a pain already -- I don't see how it could possibly handle another extra lane. Especially with the huge amount of interstate truck traffic it handles..
Posts: 9538 | Registered: Aug 2003
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Heh. I'd feel sorry for you, except that the Illinois DOT (IDOT, which is only off by one letter) decided to shut down...well...Chicago last year.
Posts: 37419 | Registered: May 1999
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