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March 29, 2011

Discovery Bridge to close to bicyclists

Filed under: Missouri,trails — Tags: , — Roger @ 12:52 am

Long-distance bicyclists traveling through the St. Louis area on either the Mississippi River Trail or the American Discovery Trail will be in for a challenge the next few years.

The Missouri Department of Transportation plans to close down the bicycle lane on the Discovery Bridge (Missouri Highway 370) that links St. Charles and St. Louis counties sometime this summer.  The closure would be in effect until sometime in 2014.

The reason? MoDOT is rehabilitating the 52-year-old westbound span of the Blanchette Bridge (Interstate 70) in 2012 and 2013. The two spans of the Blanchette Bridge carry five lanes each. When work on the bridge begins, all traffic will be diverted to the eastbound span, and there will be three lanes in each direction.

To lessen traffic on the Blanchette Bridge,  MoDOT will add a lane of traffic in each direction on the Discovery Bridge, turning it from a six-lane bridge to an eight-lane bridge. That will eliminate the bicycle/pedestrian lane.

The Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation revealed MoDOT’s plans in a post Monday. The post includes a letter written by MoDOT project manager Tom Evers to Mississippi River Trail Executive Director Terry Eastin detailing the plans.

MoDOT is suggesting that the bicycle-pedestrian trail on the Missouri Highway 364 bridge south of St. Charles could be used as an alternative route. MoBikeFed says bicycle advocates will be working with MoDOT to get signed detours and maps to get around the Discovery Bridge.

The biggest challenge for the detours will be routing them through St. Louis County until they can rejoin the official trail routes.

One also could cross the Golden Eagle Ferry into Illinois, cross the Brussels Ferry to connect to the Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail to view the gorgeous bluffs along the Mississippi River, take the Madison County Transit Confluence Trail from Alton to the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, then take the Riverfront Trail to rejoin the trails in St. Louis.


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1 Comment »

  1. I didn’t realize cyclists were crossing that bridge? I personally ride the katy trail underneath. I’ll have to take a closer look next time I’m out that way. Thanks for the update!

    Comment by Randy — April 4, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

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