Barring bad weather, the nearly 80-year-old Daniel Boone Bridge over the Missouri River will start to come down on Thursday, Feb. 18.
The Missouri Department of Transportation announced last week that portions of Interstate 64 will be closed for about an hour on Feb. 18 to allow for blasting that will take down the steel supports of the bridge. There will be two blasts needed to take down the bridge, with one being held that morning and the other at a later date.
The demolition was originally scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 17. MoDOT cited inclement weather as the culprit for the delay, saying it had prevented contractors from performing the necessary prep work.
Starting at 9:45 a.m. on Feb. 18, crews will close all lanes on eastbound and westbound I-64 between Boone’s Crossing in St. Louis County and Route K in St. Charles County. Additional closures include:
- 9 a.m. – the ramps from Chesterfield Airport Road and North Outer Road to westbound I-64 will close.
- 9:45 a.m. – the ramps from Route 94 and Research Park to eastbound I-64 and the ramp from Boone’s Crossing to westbound I-64 will close.
The interstate will be closed for approximately an hour. All lanes will reopen after debris from the demolition has been removed from I-64. This will be the first of two blasts to take down the old bridge. The second demolition will be held at a later date.
Construction on the $111 million Boone Bridge project began in January 2013. The new eastbound bridge opened to traffic in June. The 1980s bridge was then rehabbed and opened to westbound traffic in November.
There is limited public viewing of the blast. Those interested in viewing can park at the Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex located at 17925 North Outer 40 Road. Spectators can walk down the Monarch Levee Trail for about a mile to the posted viewing area.
State officials said aerial drones are prohibited because of the bridge’s proximity to Spirit of St. Louis Airport.
Construction crews have been dismantling the bridge deck in recent weeks, but explosives are needed to drop the rest of the bridge. Grading and cleanup on the overall project is expected to be finished by late spring or early summer of 2017, MoDOT officials have said.
Using explosives to drop portions of bridges has drawn large crowds in the past. About 1,000 people lined the riverbank in St. Charles in December 2012 to watch two sections of the westbound Blanchette Bridge on I-70 be blasted into the Missouri River.
Meanwhile, the demolition of the old Daniel Boone Bridge has raised some money for local Boys & Girls Clubs. The winners of a drawing and online auction, announced on Jan. 24, will trigger the explosives.
The First Capitol Lions Club of St. Charles held the winning raffle ticket in a raffle and Scott Reed, of Wildwood, was the online auction winner. Reed said his family had moved to St. Louis County, but had previously been longtime St. Charles County residents. He pledged $1,125 in the auction and will get to trigger the first explosion on Feb. 18. The Lions Club will trigger the second blast at a later date.
In addition, Edward Jones pledged $5,000 as a sponsor of the event.
In all, the raffle, auction and sponsorship donations for the event raised $9,035. Proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Charles County and Greater St. Louis. Proceeds will provide funds for computer equipment and software and also contribute toward the $1.6 million fundraising goal for the organization.
The Boys & Girls Clubs provide a wide range of educational and recreation programs and activities for young people, ages 6-18. The St. Charles County chapter locations are in St. Charles and St. Peters, and together serve more than 1,500 young people.