Dealing with the I64 closure

i-64closed_0498.jpegMind you, I rarely used it except to travel to Evansville.  I am talking about how 64 crosses through St. Louis and beyond.  I have found that though I never take this route to work or pretty much anywhere else (except when I have to take mom to the Amtrak the end of this month so have to find a new way to get there) I am finding myself stuck in the middle of thicker traffic on the secondary roads.  Seems no one wants to use the alternate highway systems such as I270, I44, I70 or the other slew of available roads out there.  I decided to include this in the political section of my blog because its chaotic affect on the local community and businesses….not to mention the amount of $$$$$ (over half a billion dollars) spent on this “project”.  My initial access to I170 has been closed.  I am now taking the second one (no big deal) it will be closed also approx. in April. Now THAT can become a big deal because I will be forced to take I270 which I have dubbed the Indy 500 due to people driving with their heads up their you-know-what’s.  It also adds more time to my commute.

Personally I can see this money better spent such as renovating the downtown area, getting rid of eyesores in that neighborhood.  Beautify the city, social services, education, etc….but this??  I understand the need for improvement of our highway systems but at what cost?

I honestly thought our highway system was doing just fine.  But the higher powers that be thought otherwise obviously.

Some articles I found regarding this:

Across Missouri: Ruling expected on I-64 closure

ST. LOUIS | Ruling on I-64 expected

A federal judge is expected to rule by today in a lawsuit aimed at stopping the closure of Interstate 64 in St. Louis.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh heard arguments Wednesday in the case filed by former St. Louis school board member Bill Haas.

MoDOT plans to close a stretch of the interstate from Ballas Road to Interstate 170 for up to a year starting Wednesday. Another stretch will close for most or all of 2009.

KSDK) Some drivers will rely on technology to help them navigate around the highway 40 shutdown.

But will it work?

Global positioning systems are common in many vehicles, particularly ones that have a mapping system directing drivers to their destination.

Most of the mapping systems used by popular GPS brands will not include the shutdown of highway 40. The GPS will offer an alternate route but in some cases those side streets will also be closed.

Robin Massie teaches a GPS class at REI in Brentwood. He suggests GPS users affected by highway 40 spend some time using the GPS to map out alternate routes.

Massie says most GPS’s will be using the same alternate routes so drivers who find lesser known side streets may be better off. (Those of us who normally use this because no other way to get to work will feel the brunt of the extra load)….Knowing the ins and outs of your GPS will help. You might also want to check with your manufacturer to see if your GPS accepts traffic updates and how much the service costs.

Gov. Blunt Asks Director Rahn to Continue Helping Missourians Affected by MoDOT’s I-64 Plan
ST. LOUIS, MO, December 23, 2007
– Gov. Matt Blunt is urging MoDOT to do everything in its power to assist Missourians during the department’s planned I-64 closure. The governor has asked Director of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Pete Rahn to play an active and visible role to help Missourians impacted by the department’s plan to close the Interstate 64/Highway 40 corridor for substantial improvements.“I am writing to request that you be personally present in St. Louis on January 2, 2008 as work begins on the New I-64 Project,” Blunt wrote in a letter to the director. “I believe that your presence as well as that of any staff and resources you may need is critical to ensuring that the Missouri Department of Transportation is doing everything within its power to make this project successful and to deal with any problems that will arise as Missourians adjust to this project.”In his letter the governor noted the I-64/Highway 40 corridor is a major artery of traffic flow in the St. Louis metropolitan region and its closure will be a significant event for many commuters and businesses that depend on that route everyday.The governor also encouraged MoDOT to continue its efforts to increase awareness about the project and to work cooperatively with local governments, businesses and others to develop a sound approach to addressing this significant change in traffic flow and any related issues.

OKAY, now for that cup of coffee…………………