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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bicyclists, dog walkers to get first dibs on Highway 40

Construction on a stretch of Interstate 64/U.S. 40 -- better known as Highway 40 to St. Louis-are residents -- is running about a month ahead of time.

Because of that, bicyclists and dog walkers will get the first chance to legally use the stretch of highway between Interstate 170 and Interstate 270 before that stretch of Highway 40 opens. There's anecdotal evidence that bicyclists and dog walkers already are using the reconstructed highway, but be warned that it's illegal to do so.

No date has been set for the Highway 40 fun day, but the Missouri Department of Transportation is planning a Friday press conference to talk about progress on the road.

KTVI-TV, Channel 2, in St. Louis reports the Highway 40 fun day will include a 5k run, a time trial for bicyclists and then be open to the public for everything from dog walking to family picnics.

One of the groups happy about the fun day is a Cub Scout troop from Incarnate Word School in Chesterfield, Mo. The troop has had to detour around the shutdown zone to get to ride to the Big Shark Bicycle Co. in St. Louis.

"It'll be a nice, big, wide-open piece of new concrete, give people a chance to come out and ride their bikes, walk around and legally walk their dogs," project spokesman Dan Galvin told Channel 2.

Right after the Highway 40 fun day, the section of Highway 40 from I-170 to I-270 will reopen to cars and trucks. The second phase of the $535 million project from I-170 to Kingshighway in St. Louis, will shut down immediately for about a year.

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