Moniteau County - On Wednesday, July 30, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission awarded a contract to begin work on the second phase of a new relocated highway on U.S. Route 50 in Moniteau County.Illinois Valley Paving Co., of Springfield, Ill., was awarded the contract for the Route 50 project after submitting the low bid of $24,876,910.73. This 8.35-mile section, from Route K to west of California, will include grading, paving, drainage work and a new interchange at Route 87. The new highway will consist of four lanes from Route K to the Route 87 interchange. From Route 87 around California, the highway will be two lanes with paved shoulders. Work is scheduled to begin in late summer 2008."We consider Route 50 through mid-Missouri a high priority for expansion," said MoDOT Assistant District Engineer Eric Schroeter. "As an alternative to Interstate 70, this route carries 10,000 vehicles a day and the expansion will increase its safety and capacity."The first phase of the new Route 50, an 11-mile stretch from the St. Martin's interchange in Cole County to Route K, began in 2007. Work continues on the first phase and the entire project is expected to be complete in 2010. Moniteau and Cole Counties and St. Martins and Centertown will take over the existing Route 50 and new outer roadways when the new highway is complete.For more information about this project or other transportation matters, please contact the Missouri Department of Transportation at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636) or log onto www.modot.org/central.