Update: Poplar Street Bridge is Falling Down, Falling Down...
Missouri Department of Transportation crews will examine the Poplar Street bridge today after a large chunk of concrete fell off the structure Sunday.
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The debris dropped from an exit ramp from the bridge and caused highway officials to shut down part of Interstate 70 for about an hour. It was hardly the first time the 43-year-old bridge has caused alarm.
The bridge has been in a "constant state of disrepair" since at least 2003 and carries nearly 125,000 vehicles a day as St. Louis' main bridge spanning the Mississippi River.
So, anyway, when's that new bridge going to be finished?
MoDOT response from Linda Wilson:
MoDOT's Bridge Inspection crews have briefly inspected the bridge ramp from the Poplar Street Bridge to westbound I-55 and have confirmed the concrete that fell off yesterday was just off the outer surface of the edge of the bridge. There is nothing structurally wrong with the ramp bridge.
The crews are doing a proactive review of all of the bridges in the downtown area to look for other similar cracks and knock off any other potentially loose concrete. The crews currently have the right lane closed on eastbound I-70 in the depressed section. They will inspect the bridges over the depressed section and work their way under the Poplar Street Bridge complex and down part of I-55 inspecting all the overhead bridges as they go.
With the recent freeze and thaw temperatures we have had, the facade along edge can get cracks in the older bridges. The crews are looking to remove anything from the edge that might break loose. Motorists should expect lane closures on eastbound I-70 to southbound I-55 and northbound I-55 to westbound I-70 for several more hours.