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Bridge Opening Should Give Commuters More Breathing Room

Kristi Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

After four years under construction and more than a decade of planning, the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge will open for traffic Sunday, February 9. And when the bridge opens, so does another option for drivers making the commute across the Mississippi.

“What we anticipate is about 20 percent of the traffic coming off Poplar Street, about 50 percent coming off MLK/Eads,” Randy Hitt of the Missouri Department of Transportation said.

Hitt is project director of the New Mississippi River Bridge Project, which encompasses 37 total projects and comes with a price tag of nearly $700 million.

“The main span bridge is the signature piece, and it is a 1500 foot span over the river, and that makes it the third longest cable stay bridge in the U.S., just 40 feet off the record. The tower is about 400 feet off the water, making it about two-thirds the height of the St. Louis Arch,” Hitt said.

The bridge will officially debut Saturday with a one day opportunity to cross the span on foot. Because the bridge ties in to I-70 and I-55, pedestrians will not be allowed once it opens for traffic. After bike time trials and a race in the morning, the public will be able to walk or cycle across the bridge for free between noon and 4 p.m. For more information, visit the Mississippi River Bridge Project website.

St. Louis on the Air provides discussion about issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh.

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