I-57 project near Charleston makes busy work zone list

Saturday, May 24, 2008

SIKESTON, Mo. -- With schools letting out and Memorial Day unofficially kicking off the summer, travel season and its millions of motorists are right around the corner.

Those who plan to travel this weekend and during the summer are asked to keep their eyes open for Missouri Department of Transportation's work zones. This is a busy construction season with hundreds of active work zones, according to a news release from MoDOT.

MoDOT has assembled a list of the state's top 10 work zones to look out for while traveling. The list is based on volume of traffic, amount of work and the level of expected delay. "These are the projects most likely to slow you down, so avoid them if you can," said MoDOT director Pete Rahn, "especially during peak hours."

Included on the list is the Interstate 57 project near Charleston, Mo.

"I-57 is going to be the only active work zone in our area," said Tonya Wells, community relations specialist for MoDOT's southeast district.

This project involves resurfacing with concrete and the construction of new shoulders.

"On I-57 we have the southbound lanes closed completely from the Mississippi River bridge to just two miles north of the Route 62 exit," said Brian Holt, resident engineer for MoDOT's southeast district.

Both northbound and southbound traffic will remain restricted to a single lane during the holiday weekend.

Holt said northbound I-57 has been reduced to one lane of traffic on its regular driving lane along that stretch because southbound traffic has been routed with a median crossover to the northbound inside passing lane "These lane closures will stay in place," he said.

The contractor's workers are not expected to be at the work site during the holiday weekend, however.

"They'll probably leave Friday evening and not return until sometime Tuesday morning," Holt said.

Holt said the project is coming along well.

"In middle of June we're hoping to open the southbound lanes to traffic," Holt said.

At that time, the project will be nearly finished.

"There is a short piece of pavement next to the river bridge that can't be completed until traffic is moved back to the southbound lanes," Holt said. "That will be done with just a normal lane drop and will be done within a couple of days. That will complete this project and will be all that we do there this year."

Holt said there will be a contract awarded for work on the northbound lanes sometime in the future.

All other recent lane closures in this area were for minor surface repairs and are back open for the holiday weekend, according to Wells.

"All lane closures daily are listed on our Web site," she said, which if reviewed before traveling, "can save them delays and inconvenience."

Wells asked that motorists who do have to travel through a work site to be aware and exercise caution.

"Sometimes we have to inconvenience drivers for our regular work zones," she said. "We want to protect them and our workers, so slow down."

Top 10 work zones to look out for

1. St. Louis: Interstate 64 is closed, in both directions from I-270 to I-170. Includes work on several cross streets that will close or have reduced lanes for the duration of the year. The Hampton interchange will close in September and reopen in May 2009.

2. Kansas City: kcICON -- Interstate 29/35 reconstruction from Route 210/Armour Road to the northeast corner of the downtown Kansas City central business district loop will have restricted lanes and various ramp closures through 2011.

3. Columbia: Interstate 70, from Route 740 (Stadium Blvd.) in Columbia to the Missouri River Bridge at the Boone/Cooper County line. Westbound lanes will be reduced for resurfacing work.

4. St. Louis: Route HH from Kehr's Mill to Baxter Road. Widening the road to three lanes. Permanent road restrictions are in place. Construction runs through late summer.

5. Kansas City: I-70 Bridge over Manchester Trafficway. Bridge rehabilitation and redecking at Manchester Bridge which will require three weekend closures.

6. Springfield: I-44/Glenstone Avenue (Route H) interchange. The ramps at the interchange will be rebuilt, the Glenstone Avenue bridge over I-44 replaced and Glenstone Avenue (Route H) widened between I-44 and Valley Water Mill Road.

7. Iowa Line to Boone County: Route 63. Four resurfacing projects will upgrade 63 miles of this major corridor across Schuyler, Adair, Macon and Randolph Counties. Along with resurfacing the driving lanes and shoulders.

8. Mississippi County: Interstate 57. Southbound I-57 will be resurfaced with concrete and new shoulders added from the Illinois state line to two miles south of the Route 105 exit near Charleston. Both northbound and southbound traffic will be reduced to one lane with southbound traffic diverted to the northbound lane. Work is ongoing to late summer.

9. Van Buren to Willow Springs: Route 60. Four-lane expansion work will continue throughout Carter, Shannon and Howell counties with final completion of the entire corridor expected by the end of 2009.

10. Kansas City: Route 71. Resurfacing of mainline and outer roads from Blue Ridge Boulevard in Grandview to 155th Street in Belton.

Information provided by the Missouri Department of Transportation

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