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FHWA 36-09
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

Nation's Top Highway Official On Hand to Reopen New I-64 East Half in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS - Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today joined Missouri state and local officials in a ribbon-cutting celebration to reopen the east half of the new and improved Interstate 64 in St. Louis. The project will bring significant congestion relief and safety benefits to the region.

"I congratulate the Missouri Department of Transportation for getting this important east west corridor open quickly and under budget," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. "The people of St. Louis and those traveling through will experience less congestion and improved safety as a result their hard work."

Mendez lauded the project as a model for the country because of innovation in highway construction.

"I-64 is a great example of how to do things right," Mendez said. "The rest of the nation can learn valuable lessons from this successful project in St. Louis."

The $535 million project was delivered ahead of schedule and under budget. The state used design-build, a contracting approach that allows the design and construction phases to move forward at the same time, often saving time and money. In addition, the state used full road closures on both the west and east sections of the project, which allowed the reconstruction to proceed on a much faster track. The project was completed in two and a half years - the west half reopened in December 2008.

Mendez added that federal dollars were spent wisely on this project to replace miles of aging road, bridges and ramps, some of which dated back to the 1930s and 40s. The project consists of 10 miles of interstate reconstruction, including more than 30 bridges, 13 interchanges, and a new interchange at I-64 and I-170.

"Now the traveling public will have a safer, less congested trip and will spend more time at home with their families or at work, instead of being stuck in traffic on an outdated highway," Mendez said.

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