Monday, Dec 9, 2013
I-57 Construction Slows Down Mt. Vernon Drivers
MT. VERNON -- Traffic headaches are becoming all too common in Jefferson County as construction ties up Interstate 57.
North and southbound lanes of I-57 near Mt. Vernon are down to one lane as crews work on a project to widen the highway.
The construction is causing delays for commuters.
"I waited about 10 or 15 minutes in traffic today," said Mt. Vernon resident Clarence Grothoff.
Road work on the north and southbound lanes of I-57 has forced IDOT officials to reduce traffic to one lane. A disappointment for many local drivers who have become impatient with the construction.
"There is a lot of construction being done by St. Louis which I deal with all the time," said local driver Bruce Curless. "They seem to get the construction done a lot quicker than what is being done here."
IDOT engineer Doug Helfrich says the lane reduction should be complete by mid November as crews lay down the striping and finish bridge work, "We knew it was going to be a difficult situation and it was just unavoidable. For the contractor to do this final piece both lanes had to be shutdown for a period of time."
The lane reduction is one of the final pieces left before the entire$30-million project is complete. The project will widen the highway to three lanes in each direction, for a five mile stretch through Mt. Vernon, and bring major traffic relief.
"When you get I-57 and I-64 coming together that is a lot of traffic and the additional lanes will help with the congestion," said Helfrich.
Wind: 0 MPH
Humidity: 80 %