JEFFERSON CITY - Motorists traveling on U.S. 54 in Cole County will soon be able to drive the new "j-turn" at Route E, an engineering solution new to mid-Missouri that is designed to improve safety and traffic flow through the area. The j-turn and other intersection improvements are scheduled to open as early as Friday, Oct. 7, weather permitting.The "j-turn" is an alternative to traditional roadway intersections on a four-lane highway. Instead of motorists crossing fast-moving lanes of traffic to get to the opposing lanes, drivers at a j-turn intersection turn right in the same direction of traffic, merge into the left lane, and then make a left turn in the direction they intend to travel. Although drivers will have to travel slightly further to get where they want to go, using J-turns can take the same or less time than trying to wait for a safe and appropriate gap to cross traffic.Contractor crews for the Missouri Department of Transportation built the new j-turn for vehicles on Route E that need to head west on U.S. 54. Motorists will also find acceleration and deceleration lanes, offset left turn lanes, and other modifications in the Route E and West Brazito Road area."The contractor is scheduled to install signing and finish up in the area sometime this week," said Transportation Project Manager Trent Brooks. "Depending on their schedule, the intersection could open on Friday, Oct. 7 or early the following week."Motorists should also be aware that work continues through late November near the intersection of U.S. 54 and Honey Creek Road, where j-turns and other lane modifications are under construction. Periodic lane closures should be expected in both eastbound and westbound lanes of U.S. 54 during working hours.Work at these intersections is part of a larger project to improve safety and traffic flow at 12 intersections along approximately 8.5 miles of U.S. 54 between Route CC and Old Bass Road. The $3.7 million project is scheduled for completion in fall 2012.MoDOT has been working closely with the community since March 2010 to address intersection safety along the U.S. 54 corridor and reduce the number of intersection crashes that result in fatalities and severe injuries. Detailed information about the improvements at each intersection can be viewed at www.modot.org/central. For more information visit www.modot.org/central or call the MoDOT Customer Service Center at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636).