Bridge girder damage delays I-55 reconstruction

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ST. LOUIS — The northbound section of Interstate 55 over the Union Pacific Railroad bridge, just south of Loughborough Avenue, is experiencing a delay in construction due to damage to the girders on the bridge.

MoDOT planned to remove and replace the existing surface of the bridge. But they would like to keep the bridge girders in place to support the new driving surface. Contractor crews damaged several of the girders while removing the surface of the bridge. Some of the girders will be replaced, and some will be repaired.

The city of St. Louis is rebuilding 13 bridges on I-55 along the corridor as part of a $63 million project between Lindbergh and I-44. In 2022, they started working on the north portion of the project, and in March 2023, they began working on the bridges between the River Des Peres and Loughborough.

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Once MoDOT and the contractor develop a full scope of repairs and order the new girders, the department will give an updated projection on how long lanes on this stretch of northbound interstate between River Des Peres and Loughborough will remain closed. The current supply chain timelines could keep the northbound lanes closed through 2024. The project’s expected completion date is extended to 2025.

The problems on this one bridge do not affect the work continuing on I-55 to the north and south of this area. Crews expect to complete work and reopen much of the roadway north of Virginia Avenue by the end of 2023.

They started working on the southern portion near Green Park Road and Gravois Creek late this summer, and they are still on schedule to complete it in fall 2024. They expect to start paving on I-55 from I-44 to Lindbergh soon as a separate project. In 2024, it will start on the north side and pave through the corridor as the bridge work is completed. They expect to continue paving work through 2025.

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