Have You Driven I-270 Over The Mississippi River? Yikes, It’s Bad
Have you seen Interstate 270 over the Missouri River lately? When I drove it back into Missouri on Monday my eyes kept darting to the missing top sections of the guardrail, down to what looks like sketchy pavement below, and back to the road in front of me. It's only one hell of a bumpy ride. The good news, which I missed toward the end of last year is their replacing the aging structure.
According to KRCG The Missouri Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Transportation have partnered to build a new Interstate 270 bridge over the Mississippi River. From my perspective, it looks like they're getting the construction underway just in time too.
Right now it's not an attractive entry into Missouri and the St. Louis area. It's not the construction that's making it look nasty either. It's all the garbage and trash that seems to be lingering on the bridge approaches to the river crossing. Ugh, come on, let's clean that mess up. Combine that mess with an older bridge that's showing its age and needs work now, and it's just unattractive.
That said, work is really getting underway on the bridge. IDOT told KRCG that the original bridge, built in 1966, is two lanes in each direction with one-foot-wide shoulders, which causes safety concerns for vehicle breakdowns and first responders.
The new bridge will have wilder shoulders that will leave room for I-270 to eventually be three lanes in each direction over the river.
According to the 270 Missouri River Bridge and Riverview Interchange construction website, here's what I experienced driving across the bridge on Sunday.
"Construction is progressing on both sides of the Mississippi River. Ongoing Illinois roadway work includes constructing a westbound lane & shoulder in addition to constructing a shoulder associated with the eastbound lanes."
Additionally, they're working on river bridge construction over the Illinois floodplain and even working in the river near the Illinois bank. In Missouri work is continuing near Riverview Drive. Additionally, on the Missouri side, there seems to be work going on at various locations throughout the drive between Interstate 70 and the bridge structure.
I'm not sure I love all the construction, especially, since I'm planning on heading home to Illinois a little more often than I used to, however, the bridge needs it. And it seems that, yes, both Interstate 70 and I-270 need to be widened in a lot of places.
You can keep up with all the road work, lane reductions, and construction progress on the new bridge at the following websites:
The bridge project should be complete by the end of 2026.