This past weekend marked the official opening of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. The monumental $695 million bridge provides a different way for millions of drivers to cross the Mississippi River between Illinois and Missouri.

The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge is one mile north of the Martin Luther King Bridge. It has two traffic lanes in each direction with room to expand to three lanes, and carries Interstate 70 traffic between Illinois and Missouri, connecting I-70 at the I-55/I-64/I-70 interchange on the Illinois side to I-70 near Cass Avenue in Missouri.

With the bridge opening, Interstate 70 routing is being reconfigured.  No longer will 1-70 cross the Poplar Street Bridge. Please note also that parts of Illinois Route 3 have changed (see map.)

Construction began in the summer of 2009. The project, a joint effort by the Illinois and Missouri departments of transportation, has created or supported more than 9,000 jobs.

Illinois contributed $347 million toward the bridge construction, with Missouri contributing $41 million and the federal government contributing $307 million.

The existing Poplar Street Bridge carried combined traffic for Interstates 55, 64 and 70 and averages 120,000 vehicles daily. By 2030, the Poplar Street Bridge would have carried more than 150,000 vehicles daily if the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge had not been built. The new I-70 bridge and the Poplar Street Bridge, which will continue to carry I-55/64 traffic, will mean less congestion and fewer accidents.