Motorists who use the Murdoch Avenue Bridge will need to make alternate travel plans beginning in January.
The bridge over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad between Interstate 44 and Big Bend Boulevard is being replaced and will be closed for six months. That includes the on-ramp onto westbound I-44 from Murdoch Avenue.
"It’s functionally obsolete and structurally deficient,” said Paul Verheyen, Webster Groves director of public works. “It’s not dangerous, but let’s put it this way, MoDOT inspection people said it’s in need of replacement.”
According to Bridgehunter.com, a website dedicated to historic U.S. bridges, it was built in 1930. The date was confirmed by Verheyen.
While the construction plan has been approved by MoDOT, Kozeny Wagner, the contractor, has not given it the green light yet. Verheyen said a pre-construction meeting would occur in December. After that, details will be released including the exact closure date and how traffic will be detoured around the work.
To get from one side of I-44 to the other, Verheyen said that traffic would be routed to Laclede Station Road to the east and to either Edgar Road and/or Elm Avenue to the west.
The on-ramp from Murdoch onto westbound I-44 will be closed, but the off-ramp from eastbound I-44 onto Laclede Station Road will be available.
The new bridge will cost the state $1,402,824, while Webster Groves will pay $350,706. It’s an 80-20 split.
When finished, the four lanes will each go from 10 feet wide to 12 feet wide. Barriers will separate traffic from five-foot-wide sidewalks on both sides, and a three-foot wall with a five-foot-tall decorative metal fence on top will line the sides of the bridge. Eight LED-lit lamps will light the bridge at night.
Official detour information will be posted in upcoming weeks on Webster Groves website.