The bridge will have a significant impact on transportation in the St. Louis region connecting Missouri and Illinois. The agreement will build the New Mississippi River Bridge in the location originally approved by Federal Highway Administration in 2001, which is 1 mile north of the Martin Luther King Bridge in north St. Louis. The new bridge will have four lanes, two lanes in each direction, with room to expand to six lanes. The New Mississippi River Bridge will carry Interstate 70 traffic from Illinois to Missouri connecting I-70 at the I-55/I-64/I-70 interchange on the Illinois side to I-70 near Cass Avenue on the Missouri side. The new bridge will not be a toll bridge. Design for the project will begin immediately. Construction could begin as early as 2010 and last four to six years.
The New Mississippi River Bridge is expected to reduce severe traffic congestion and vehicle crashes on the Poplar Street Bridge. Currently, the Poplar Street Bridge carries combined traffic for Interstates 55, 64 and 70 - an average of 115,000 and 125,000 vehicles daily in 2004, and it was projected that by 2030, it would carry more than 150,000 vehicles daily if no additional major river bridge crossing were constructed.
Visit www.newriverbridge.org/ for more information on the New Mississippi River Bridge.