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Lemay Ferry bridge will close May 1

The Lemay Ferry Road bridge over Interstate 255 will close at roughly 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 1, and will remain closed for about four months while the bridge is rebuilt, according to a Missouri Department of Transportation news release.

Lemay Ferry Road will be closed between South County Centerway and Forder Road. Traffic will be detoured to Interstate 55 via either Butler Hill Road — to access Lemay Ferry Road south of Interstate 255 — or Lindbergh Boulevard — to access Lemay Ferry Road north of Interstate 255.

The ramp from Lemay Ferry Road to northbound Interstate 270, the ramp from eastbound Interstate 255 to Forder Road and the ramp from eastbound Interstate 255 to Lemay Ferry Road all will remain open — with limited access — during construction.

MoDOT Area Engineer Tom Blair stated in the release that there are two major advantages of closing the bridge.

"The first is that we can reduce construction costs by about $1 million by closing Lemay Ferry Road. Second, we estimate that construction would take 2 years to complete if the bridge remains open versus four months with the bridge closed. We feel this is the safest, most efficient way to complete this project,'' he stated.

The contract to replace the Lemay Ferry Road bridge over Interstate 255 was awarded to Fred Weber Inc. for $5.7 million last August.

The bridge is being replaced because:

It is more than 40 years old and in desperate need of replacement.

The existing bridge over Interstate 255 has no shoulders.

The bridge is structurally deficient — there is significant deterioration to bridge surface and overall bridge structure.

The bridge is not earthquake resistant.

The bridge cannot handle current traffic volumes.

The bridge does not provide safe and efficient pedestrian access.

Plans for the new Lemay Ferry bridge include 10-foot outside shoulders, a separated pedestrian walkway and earthquake strengthening. A northbound lane between Forder Road and the northbound Interstate 270 entrance ramp will be added.

For more information about the project, motorists can contact MoDOT's Customer Service toll free at (800) ASK-MODOT (275-6636).

Project information and detour maps also are available on MoDOT's Web site at Click on "Your Local MoDOT'' to visit MoDOT's St. Louis Web pages.

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