Crews start to open westbound lanes on Missouri River Bridge

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JEFFERSON CITY – Drivers may see a decrease in traffic near the Missouri River Bridge starting Monday. Crews started to open lanes on the westbound bridge Friday night.

The westbound bridge has been closed since May 1 for painting and repairs. Since then, all traffic on the bridge has traveled in the eastbound lanes. Initially, it was supposed to open in August, but engineers said it needed more structural repairs.

Crews will be on the bridge all weekend to open it to traffic again. MoDOT advises drivers to avoid the bridge if they can.

“We’re strongly encouraging traffic to stay away, or to not use eastbound 54 if at all possible, because there will be significant delays as we perform this work,” said MoDOT Resident Engineer Reid Riley.

All westbound lanes are expected to open on Friday night, but only one lane of Route 54 eastbound will be open through Saturday night.

Crews will be taking down the concrete barriers between lanes, removing temporary striping and placing new pavement markings.

MoDOT’s Central District Engineer David Silvester said the work done on the bridge will keep it working long-term.

“We know the bridge closure was trying and tiresome, and we thank everyone for hanging in there with us,” Silvester said in a news release. “We now have a fully repainted bridge that should last at least another 20-30 years.”

All traffic is expected to be back to normal by 6 a.m. on Monday. After that, MoDOT said drivers could see a few single-lane closures on the westbound bridge at non-peak hours for traffic.