Road- and bridge-construction projects that will impact medical center are set to begin ​

Washington University School of Medicine employees and students should be aware of an upcoming Interstate 64/Highway 40 construction project that, when completed, will greatly enhance access to the campus, but will create disruptions for travelers in the coming months.

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), in partnership with Washington University Medical Center, is set to begin construction of a fully functional I-64 interchange at Tower Grove Avenue. The project will include replacing the Taylor, Newstead, Tower Grove and Boyle avenue bridges across I-64, as well as the addition of new pavement on I-64 between Kingshighway and Newstead, and the resurfacing of I-64 between Newstead and Sarah Street.

Pedestrians cross the Taylor Avenue bridge over Interstate 64/Highway 40. The bridge will be demolished and replaced. (Credit: Robert Boston)

The project is scheduled to begin this month and is expected to be completed in June 2014.

The first phase will involve the closure of the Taylor and Newstead bridges Jan. 21, followed by demolition of these 50-year-old structures Jan. 26 and 27. The interstate between Kingshighway and Sarah will see occasional closures during the project, including the weekend of Jan. 26-27.

After installing new bridges over I-64 at Taylor and Newstead, MoDOT will demolish the Tower Grove and Boyle bridges, likely in the fall of 2013. The Vandeventer Avenue exit off of I-64 will be closed at different periods during construction, while the westbound I-64 on-ramp will be closed for the majority of the project.

Drivers who access the medical center via the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood are strongly encouraged to consider alternate routes during the project, and all employees and students should plan for additional travel time, especially during rush-hour periods. On most occasions, MoDOT will keep three lanes open on I-64 in both directions weekdays from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., and will keep at least one lane open at all times during off-peak hours. Those lanes, however, will be narrowed and shifted, so extra caution is urged.

MoDOT has more information about the project on its website.

The medical center will strive to keep employees, students and others informed and will share construction updates as they become available.

When completed, this project will greatly enhance access to the campus. Medical center administrators ask for employees’ and students’ patience over the coming months and encourage everyone to stay informed as the construction progresses. During the rebuilding of I-64 that began in 2007, those affected learned that with each phase of a major construction project there can be periods of disruption, followed by periods of adjustment. In the end, the work represents an important investment in the infrastructure surrounding the campus that will greatly benefit the medical center community.

Road- and bridge-construction projects are set to begin on and above Interstate 64/Highway 40, just south of the Washington University Medical Center. This image from the Missouri Department of Transportation shows areas targeted for improvements. (Credit: MoDOT)