By Ashley Yarchin
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - It's one of the Missouri Department of Transportation's most major road closures in years, and so, how you travel to and through downtown St. Louis will have to change starting Friday night.
At 8 p.m. MoDOT closed the Interstate 64 ramp at McCausland as well as those at Hampton and Kingshighway. And on the westbound side, also closed were the ramps at Pine, Jefferson, Market and Grand.
It's all part of a project that runs through July of 2014 to replace four bridges over the interstate and construct a new interchange at Tower Grove and Boyle.
It's good for the city in the long run, but bad for motorists in the short-term because the closures will be in place this weekend, many more in the future and overnight during the work week.
Stuck in the middle of this mess are several hospitals.
"For the critically ill patients who are coming from across the river, usually they'll be able to take a helicopter anyway, so it's not an issue. For the ones that are not able to take a helicopter if the weather is bad, usually even then, the extra minute or two is fine," said Dr. Fahd Ahmad, who works in the emergency room at St. Louis Children's Hospital. "Forest Park Parkway should be open enough and fast enough on the weekends that there won't be a sufficient delay to cause problems with any medical care."
A Saint Louis University Hospital spokesman echoed those sentiments and added that usually dispatchers will help the ambulance through a detour.
Speaking of, MoDOT says during this process try to use I-70 or I-44 as alternate routes.