Blanchette Bridge closing provides other options


RideFinders is a free ride-matching service. Joe Wright, director of RideFinders, encourages you to join this program.

Kelli Reichert | Lindenlink Reporter

Tom Evers, Area Engineer for St. Charles County, discusses the effect on the Blanchette Bridge Closing this fall.

If you live near or travel frequently on the Blanchette Bridge over the Missouri River, then you need to be aware of the renovation project starting this fall. According to MoDOT, the Blanchette Bridge is well over 50 years old. In order to fix and repair the bridge, it will take $63 million, but renovation will ensure that the bridge will last another 50 years.

So how does this affect Lindenwood students? For starters, the westbound I-70 bridge will close the first weekend in November. I-70 west will not be closing, but it will be merging onto the eastbound bridge with the east I-70 traffic. Due to the traffic lanes merging, the speed limits will be reduced and the driving lanes will be narrower than the average traffic lanes.

I attended a city wide meeting on Sept. 28th for the discussion of this project. Members from MoDOT, RideFinders and the City of St. Charles all spoke to explain the changes and answered any questions that people had. Sally Faith, the St. Charles mayor, stated “We are trying to get the word out. It’s a very important matter.”

RideFinders is a free ride-matching service. Joe Wright, director of RideFinders, encourages you to join this program.

It is important for Lindenwood students to realize that the Blanchette Bidge may not be the best route to travel. But if you feel the need to drive westbound I-70, here are some pointers:

  1. Avoid rush hour times – Rush hours are hectic enough. With less room and fewer driving lanes, traffic jams are likely to increase.
  2. Make plenty of time for you to get from point A to point B – The bridge engineers estimate that your arrival time will be at least an extra 10 minutes due to the amount of traffic merging together and the reduced speeds.
  3. Carpool or vanpool – With fewer vehicles on the roads, there will be less traffic. RideFinders is a free ride-matching service that will help you to carpool around the St. Charles area.

This extensive project will end in December 2013. Until then, we are being asked to think wise before using the Blanchette Bridge and take advantage of the RideFinders free service. Alternative Missouri River crossings are on Highway 370 and Highway 364.

One of the many RideFinders vans that will be used for vanpooling.

For additional questions on the Blanchette Bridge closing, you can use the following suggestions:

Tom Evers, Project Engineer : [email protected]