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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Marks Reopening of Delmar Overpass

Several local officials including U City Mayor Shelley Welsch were in attendance to celebrate the re-opening of the Interstate 170 overpass.

On Tuesday morning, officials from the St. Louis area came together for a  to mark the re-opening of the Delmar Boulevard Interstate 170 overpass in University City.

"We were very pleased that the project went quickly," said Olivette City Manager Mike McDowell. 

The bridge was not scheduled to open until September, but the construction moved at a quick enough pace to get it open on Tuesday. The tone of the morning was very positive and happy, and the officials all seemed thrilled that the project came in ahead of schedule.

"It's simply outstanding," St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said. "They're ahead of schedule - what more do you want?"

People started to gather around 8:45 a.m., mingling and checking out the bridge before the official ceremony began.

"We are very pleased to have this bridge completed," University City Mayor Shelley Welsch said. "They did a great job of making it fully-accessible for walkers and bikers. It also brings a sense of economic development and growth for University City."

Welsch cited plans for a  at 8390 Delmar Blvd. as one example of the economic development.

Other local officials were equally happy about the bridge's completion for various reasons.

"It connects us with the outside world," said Missouri State Representative Rory Ellinger of University City. "Also, projects like this put people to work - a justifiable role of the government."

"It's absolutely wonderful," Olivette Mayor Jean Antoine said of the bridge. "That we had the resources and funding to do it is a wonderful thing."

The ceremony began around 9:10 a.m., with opening remarks from Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) St. Louis District Design Engineer Karen Yeomans.

"We appreciate everybody coming out," Yeomans said.

Yeomans was followed by several local officials, including Dooley, Welsch, Ellinger and Antoine, who echoed their earlier statements to University City Patch.

"Doesn't it look good?" Dooley asked the crowd, which was answered with applause. "More importantly, today we have cupcakes to celebrate. The bridge will be here for a long time, but today, we have cupcakes."

Refreshments were provided before and after the ceremony, including some MoDOT-decorated mini-cupcakes from across the street.

Several of the officials also took the time to salute the construction workers who built the new bridge to University City.

"It's 80 degrees and beautiful today, but it was 105 and better through a lot of this project," St. Louis County Councilman Pat Dolan said.

According to multiple sources, the bridge should be open to traffic before this evening's rush hour. Andrew Gates, a community relations representative for MoDOT, said they're hoping for 2:30 p.m. as the specific time for the opening.

Myra Lopez August 17, 2011 at 09:35 PM
Kim, I'll ask MoDOT and get back to you. Thanks for the comment and question.
James Baer August 18, 2011 at 02:24 AM
Kim, Like virtually every other road project, there is work to be done after the ribbon cutting. They did clean up and repair on the bridge at I-170 and Olive for months after the ribbon cutting a couple years ago. It will all get done!
Myra Lopez August 18, 2011 at 01:17 PM
Kim, I took your question to Andrew Gates, the community relations official with MoDOT and this was his response. "The rest of Delmar is a county road -- we're responsible for the bridge over I-170 because it is over an interstate." He went on to say that - it's his understanding that the county is doing a resurfacing project on Delmar starting later this year.
Myra Lopez August 19, 2011 at 01:15 PM
I drove over the new bridge yesterday..it was very nice..
Myra Lopez August 19, 2011 at 09:10 PM
I added video of Tuesday's ribbon cutting ceremony courtesy of MoDOT.

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