GRAND PRIZE WINNER!
“We are excited to continue the relationships solidified by this project in order to insure a better transportation system for the entire St. Louis Region.”
In 2007, prior to the total closure of I-64 in St. Louis the largest highway improvement in Missouri history headlines screamed “Apocalypse Now!” and “Traffic Nightmare!” Over the course of 2007, the Missouri DOT and its contractor had conducted more than 175 public appearances to nearly 15,000 people at regional businesses, community groups, and hospitals. Weekly television interviews and newspaper articles covered the project schedule. Missouri DOT suggested tools to help survive the closure including using transit, carpooling, and flextime. The people listened. The headlines immediately after the January 2, 2008 closure read “Region’s traffic nightmare a no-show,” and “Preparation Pays Off.”
In December 2009, I-64 reopened to traffic nearly one month early and $11 million under budget. It exceeded all project goals and met or exceeded all of the construction opening milestones. This once-controversial project finished strong with survey results of 95% of the public satisfied with how the project was handled and the decision to completely close the highway for two years.
Interstate 64/US Route 40 was the oldest highway in St. Louis dating back to the 1930s. Now more than 150,000 vehicles use the highway each day. This old highway and its 30 bridges had become so deteriorated, it had to be replaced. Limited funds, limited space and a need to complete the project quickly to limit the impact of construction complicated the plan for how to rebuild it.
Missouri DOT had a fixed budget of $535 million including engineering, property acquisition, utility relocations and project administration. Of that $535 million, the design-build contractor would get a fixed cost contract of $420 million. Missouri DOT’s flexibility and innovation in its contract resulted in a win-win project for St. Louis.