Motorists hoping to find downtown St. Charles from Route 370 or Highway 364 after the closure of the westbound span of the Blanchette Bridge will have some help.
The city plans to spend $31,579 on big blue and white wayfinding signs which will be placed at strategic locations.
The signs will point traffic toward the major attractions in the city, identified by a consultant as the Family Arena, Convention Center, Casino and Historic District.
St. Charles is hoping to minimize the impact of the closure of the westbound span of the Blanchette Bridge, which is expected to start in early November and last up to nine months.
While the westbound span of the bridge is closed, westbound traffic will move to the eastbound span of the bridge and there will be three lanes in each direction. The Missouri Department of Transportation is encouraging drivers to use other routes during rush hour.
A committee comprising community members, and representatives from SSM Healthcare, Ameristar Casino, Greater St. Charles Chamber of Commerce and MoDOT worked on the proposal for the signs, which will be located throughout the city.
Carol Felzien, St. Charles director of communication, said the city has also created maps for store owners to use and provide to customers. (Find those maps by clicking the photo above).
Felzien said the city worked with MoDOT to create point-by-point driving directions which people can use or read over the phone to motorists trying to get to the city.
"We're looking forward to people having easy access and not having any difficulty," she said. "I think we've got it covered."
Councilman Jerry Reese, Ward-6, lives on the west side of the city and said he thinks many people aren't aware of the closure or aren't sure what they will do when the westbound span of the bridge closes.
The city and MoDOT have held a number of meetings with but many were poorly attended.
"That first day is going to be a nightmare," he said, adding that when traffic piles up back to Mid Rivers Mall Drive, people's eyes will be opened. "I'm believing that the first week is going to be a nightmare for people to try to get around."
Read our earlier stories about the Blanchette Bridge closure:
- Q & A: Business Owners Ask Questions About Blanchette Bridge Lane Closure
- Business Owners Brace for Blanchette Bridge Lane Closure
- MoDOT Awards Contract for I-70 Blanchette Bridge