From a recent "Road Crew" Live Chat at STL Today comes the following Q and A with local highway officials including MoDOT Spokesperson, Linda Wilson:
Pat: "There has been a lot talk about possibly removing the section of Interstate 70 downtown when the new Mississippi River Bridge is finished. It could potentially revitalize a lot of the St. Louis riverfront with more pedestrian friendly areas and more commercial space if it was removed.
How opposed is MoDot to removing that section of I-70 in the future? I have heard reasons against the removal because people coming from 55 can't go to north st. louis and vice-versa (which makes sense). Has MoDot done or will they do any studies determining how much the removal of that section would affect drivers? Does MoDot take into account the possible benefits a removal could have for downtown St. Louis?"
Linda Wilson, Todd Waelterman and David Wrone: "Our district engineer is serving on the technical advisory committee for the Arch contest. Our position is that after we build the new Mississippi River bridge downtown, there will still be a demand of 50,000+ vehicles per day to drive the section of highway that runs in front of the Arch. Some of that traffic is north-south driving from north county to south county or vice versa. It does serve as an alternate north-south to I-270. The other significant portion of traffic is people who go to and from work in downtown St. Louis every day. We have told the groups that if they can develop a plan to accommomdate how these 50,000+ vehicles can get through, we are open to looking at it".
Linda Wilson, MoDOT