CAMDEN/LACLEDE COUNTIES - Motorists eager to use the new Route 5 shared four-lane highway under construction in Camden and Laclede Counties are one step closer to getting their wish. Today, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission awarded a contract to pave the 18-mile project.A shared four-lane highway consists of alternating passing lanes along a conventional two-lane highway to provide motorists with periodic opportunities to pass other vehicles without having to drive in the opposing lane.Emery Sapp and Sons, Inc. of Columbia, Mo. was awarded the paving contract after submitting the lowest bid of $16,150,581.53. The work will begin later this summer and is scheduled for completion in late 2010.The contract includes paving eight miles of newly relocated Route 5 from north of Route 7 near Camdenton to just south of the Camden/Laclede County line. Passing lanes will also be added to a 10-mile section of existing Route 5 from south of the Camden/Laclede County line to Lebanon.The first phase of the project is underway and consists of an $11.4 million grading project to relocate eight miles of Route 5. That work began spring 2008 and is being completed by Dave Kolb Grading, Inc. of St. Charles, Mo."This unique highway design provides a cost-effective solution to ease traffic flow and improve safety," said Project Manager Nicole Hood. "While MoDOT has used similar passing lane applications in a limited fashion before, the continuous nature of this roadway will make it one of the first shared-four lane highways in the nation."For more information about this project, please call 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636) or log onto www.modot.org/central. You can also follow MoDOT's Central District on Twitter, at https://twitter.com/MoDOT_Central_.