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Alternate routes have capacity during I-255 shutdown, IDOT says

The Illinois Department of Transportation is pushing better use of specific alternate routes, based on its first few days of observance of the Interstate 255 rehabilitation project.

IDOT has utilized drones, cameras, traffic counters, staff observations and traffic reporting services to monitor and evaluate travel times, problem spots and traffic volumes as well as opportunities to improve traffic flow.

The highway is closed in both directions between I-55/70 and I-64.

“While we will continue to adjust traffic signals and signage to best accommodate the displaced I-255 traffic along every alternate route, Illinois 159 has available capacity to handle additional traffic. Likewise, the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge is relatively underutilized when compared to the Poplar Street Bridge to access downtown St. Louis from Illinois,” IDOT said in a statement.

“Motorists who can utilize these options are encouraged to consider each when making route decisions. We are grateful for the assistance the motoring public has provided by using all available routes, exercising caution while traveling in the area and staggering trips.”

With the current forecast suggesting winter weather is probable over the next few weeks, IDOT may be consistently assigning plows and other resources normally dedicated to the closed segment of I-255 to all alternate routes throughout the day to ensure safe travel. The above information offers some insight when making routes choices for each trip and could be even more beneficial during periods of inclement weather – as plow activity often requires lower speeds and greater space between vehicles than normal travel.

For more information, visit the project website.

Photo of Interstate 255 from this past summer.

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