MoDOT has opened its first j-turn intersection at Route E and U.S. 54 in Cole County, as 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 intersection improvements at Route E opened to traffic on Oct. 7, 2011.
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.