SIKESTON - Motorists on Interstate 55 near Route AB (Nash Road) in southern Cape Girardeau and northern Scott counties can expect some lane closures as of Oct. 8.
Northbound and southbound lanes will intermittently be reduced to one lane while a contractor does dirt work and drainage pipe installation in the median, according to MoDOT resident engineer Bob Wilson.
There will be more lane reductions in the coming weeks when the crossover is paved. The crossover will be used to divert northbound I-55 traffic to the southbound lane so that a new three-lane, seismically-designed northbound Diversion Channel Bridge can be built. The new bridge's third lane will serve as an acceleration lane for the northbound I-55 on-ramp traffic. The current bridge does not have an acceleration lane.
Removal of the existing bridge is expected to begin in early November. Both northbound and southbound lanes of I-55 will be reduced to one lane during construction.
If travel is necessary in the area, drivers are urged to plan for delays.
The project is expectes to be completed in fall 2003. In addition to the new bridge, the project also includes relocating the interchange's on and off ramps to better accommodate the turning movements of large trucks so traffic flows better for everyone. The addition of lighting and the infrastructure for future traffic signals at the Route AB interchange are also included.