Memo to: Board of DirectorsFrom: Staff Subject: Independent Review of the Poplar Street Bridge/I-55/I-70 InterchangeProjectDate: September 20, 2012At a special meeting held on September 14, 2012 the Board of Directors was briefed onthe Independent Review of the Poplar Street Bridge/I-55/I-70 Interchange projectconducted by HDR Engineering, Inc. Based on the findings HDR recommended aprogram of phased improvements to address the issue of removing a ramp fromeastbound I-70 to eastbound I-64 in addition to providing a long term, positive, regionalbenefit in terms of reduced congestion and increased accessibility.The improvements (Attachment A) recommended by HDR include:
Phase 1 - The construction of the Martin Luther King (MLK) Connector,reconstruction of Ramps C (westbound I-64 to westbound I-70) and D(westbound I-64 to southbound I-55), and removal of Ramp B (eastbound I-70to eastbound I-64). Implementation of the improvements would begin in 2015and the total estimated cost is $42.7 million;
Phase 2 - Widening the eastbound section of the Poplar Street Bridge (PSB) toadd one lane, reconstructing Ramp A (northbound I-55 to eastbound I-64), andimplementing the I-64 Split Initial which would extend the Sixth Street on-rampas an unimpeded “add lane” utilizing the lane added to the PSB. The activitieswould begin in 2016 at a total estimated cost of $37. 3 million; and
Phase 3 - Construct the I-64 Split Final which would complete a “collector-distributor” connection between the Sixth Street off-ramp and on-rampeffectively creating a third lane of capacity for eastbound I-64. The totalestimated cost is $31 million and construction could begin as soon as funding isavailable.The recommendations allow the overall project to be phased in as funding becomesavailable. Each phase would improve operations and safety, could operateindependently, and could be designed to easily anticipate the next phase of work. Eachphase was also developed with the intent of integrating and complementingimprovements that are already planned and underway - namely the new MississippiRiver Bridge and City-Arch-River.