JEFFERSON CITY – The good news: Repairs to the eastbound Interstate 70 bridge over the Lamine River west of Boonville are complete almost two weeks ahead of schedule. The bad news: I-70 will remain reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction while the westbound bridge is rehabilitated.
Moving traffic from the westbound bridge to the newly repaired eastbound bridge will begin the morning of Saturday, July 30. Traffic is expected to be totally switched by early morning on Tuesday, Aug. 2.
“Traffic will travel in a couple of different configurations as we transition drivers from one bridge to another, but one lane in each direction will always be open,” said Aaron Peck, resident engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation. “It’s likely most motorists won’t even notice the switch.”
Still, Peck said, traffic will continue to be reduced to one lane in each direction through the end of August, causing congestion, especially on peak travel days, which primarily are Thursday through Sunday. I-70 motorists are strongly encouraged to use alternate east-west routes, such as U.S. Routes 50 and 36, while the project is in progress.
“Work on this project has been progressing well, and we’re slightly ahead of schedule, as of now,” Peck said. “The contractor is working hard to complete this project so we can get I-70 back open to two lanes in each direction as quickly as possible.”
While the project is progressing well, vehicles straddling the center line are causing some traffic flow problems in the work zone, Peck said. The “straddlers” keep traffic from using both lanes up to the merge point, thus increasing the length of the traffic backup.
MoDOT has placed messages instructing motorists to avoid straddling the centerline on electronic message boards within the work zone.
In addition, tools to help motorists navigate the work zone, including traffic cameras, can be found at www.modot.org/central/I70LamineBridge.htm.