Missouri and Illinois Departments of Transportation — Missouri and Illinois Infrastructure Improvements for Downtown St. Louis

Because of the proximity to the Illinois, Missouri, and Mississippi Rivers, St. Louis serves as a major freight corridor. Ten years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to see wait times of 45 minutes or more on the Poplar Street Bridge, which carries the traffic and freight from I-64, I-55, and I-70 across the Mississippi River into St. Louis City. The solution: an $801 million collaborative effort between the Missouri Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Transportation that included the relocation of one interstate to a new, four-lane cable bridge named the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. The new bridge gave the region some much needed “breathing room” and allowed the states to make significant improvements to the Poplar Street Bridge, including new lane ramps on the bridge and an extra lane between St. Louis City and St. Clair County, Illinois. A park replaced what was the existing interstate, with bicycle and pedestrian access, providing travel options to access the Mississippi River. This project also gave the department an opportunity to better connect travelers with the iconic St. Louis Arch. With these improvements, St. Louis witnesses up to a 30 percent increase in traffic across the river – helping improve the economy and tourism across the city.