Soon, Google Maps robots will color in this barren stretch of road, symbolically healing the rift between North and South Grand.
The much-anticipated return of the Grand Avenue Viaduct that's been closed for what feels like seven years is nigh. Grand Center businesses received a letter from the city outlining a 3 p.m. re-opening of the road to traffic both north and southbound, with at least one lane open in both directions at all day.
It also notes that the various "detour" signs posted around will remain up until the official dedication ceremony for the project, so don't be faked out. The letter comes with a plea to pass it around and share the good news, so consider that done. Full letter after the jump.
The Grand Avenue Viaduct will open to traffic at 3:00 PM on Friday 7/13/12. The temporary northbound left turn onto Chouteau will be eliminated & will revert to a through lane. The painted left turn arrows will be removed by tomorrow & will be replaced with straight arrows and MoDOT will install no left turn signs. Left turns are allowable for southbound Grand onto Chouteau. Pedestrian access will be maintained on both sides of the bridge once we open for traffic.
MoDOT will finish resurfacing of the Eastbound I-64 exit lane at Grand tonight & will paint an island at the intersection of the ramp to delineate the right & left turn lanes. Metro will install construction fencing at the stair & elevator towers to keep secure from the public. They will also be placing cones along the bus turnouts to keep traffic from pulling into the turnouts & to provide parking for their construction vehicles.
Roadway operations will consist of two open lanes for northbound traffic for the AM rush and will flip over to two open lanes southbound for the PM rush. Lane drops will be in place for southbound to facilitate early morning rush then lane drops for both directions after 9:00 AM. At about 2:30 - 3:00 PM southbound lane drops will be removed for the PM rush. Detour signs will remain along the detour route until after the formal dedication ceremony.
Work remaining to be done after the bridge opens consists of finishing the towers, minor concrete work, and irrigation/splash guards/landscaping of the median. There is also some work to be done under the bridge but it will not affect traffic. We expect the work to be completed by the end of August with the exception of some of the plantings due to hot weather restrictions.
It's good and welcome news, but remember that every time one roadway opens, and another is shut down. All westbound lanes of Highway 40 (I'll never call it 64, not ever) are currently closed downtown between Broadway and 21st Street, and will remain so until 5:30 a.m. Monday morning. Also, some of the eastbound lanes of 40 may be closed in the same stretch for safety reasons while contractors work on the roads.