July 24, 2014

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Southwest District
Southwest District at Work

Big Rig Night


ARC of the Ozarks

CAN I HONK THE HORN? – Springfield Intermediate Maintenance Worker Bob McClary (left) watches as a child explores the Southwest District’s Emergency Response Vehicle during Big Rig Night at the Battlefield Mall in Springfield. (Photo/David Mitchell)  

WELCOMING VISITORS – Springfield Maintenance Crew Leaders Ben Arnall (left) and Randy Patterson meet with visitors from the ARC of the Ozarks during a recent tour. (Photo/Angela Eden)

IS Antenna Install  

Brian Todd

HITTING THE TARGET – Joplin Senior Information Systems Technologist Mark Brown (upper right) and Computer Science Intern Geo Roa make sure the line-of-sight is clear during installation of a remote fuel monitoring antenna. (Photo/David Mitchell)

  Branson Senior Construction Inspector Brian Todd discusses construction progress at the Farmer’s Branch bridge on Route 65 near the Greene-Christian county line. (Photo/David Mitchell)

Stone’s Corner Dual Lane

Roundabout Nears Completion

The commute for Joplin area drivers through a notoriously congested intersection is already faster following the partial opening of a new dual lane roundabout at Route 171 and Route 43 in the Village of Airport Drive.

Following several weeks of construction to widen Demott Drive (Route 171) and Main Street (Route 43), the traffic signals were turned off and cones were set up to route traffic to the right – through a temporary single-lane configuration – on the evening of July 14.

Stone's Corner roundabout
A flagger helps direct traffic through the roundabout at Route 171/43 near Joplin the evening of July 11. (Photo/Ryan Dingman)

The consensus is it’s working better than expected.

“It’s going really good,” said Joplin Resident Engineer Jim Conley. “I think traffic is moving better than when the signals were active.”

The construction inspector for the project, Ryan Dingman, agreed.

“Traffic is moving through it very well,” he said.

Traffic back ups during morning and evening rush hours have been greatly reduced.

During peak traffic times, it could take drivers nearly five minutes and several cycles of the traffic signal to get through the intersection.

APAC-Missouri crews are working to get the second lane opened to traffic at the intersection known as Stone’s Corner.

“We chose to maintain the single lane roundabout for an extra week instead of using temporary (lane) markers,” said Assistant to the Resident Engineer Henry Bevier. “We believe it will help reduce confusion traveling through the roundabout which will result in safer conditions.”

Stone's Corner
Joplin Construction Inspector Ryan Dingman (right) talks with a contractor employee about construction of the Route 171/43 roundabout near Joplin. (Photo/David Mitchell)

The $2.6 million project was added to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) in the summer of 2011. That’s when MoDOT began working with local property owners to find a solution to congestion and safety problems at the intersection near the Joplin Regional Airport.

“It has been bad for at least 15 years,” said Assistant District Engineer Dan Salisbury. “We were constantly going out there tweaking signals, changing striping, but nothing worked.”

During meetings with property owners, MoDOT showed them aerial photos and listened to their ideas.

“We didn’t make everyone happy,” said Salisbury, “but this is where we ended up. We worked with businesses and residents to account for as many concerns as possible.”

The second lane of the roundabout is expected to be opened the week of July 28 when permanent striping is applied. After that, all that remains is to finish up landscaping and clean up.

Completion date for the project is August 28.

See video about navigating roundabouts here.


Tight Schedule for New Route MM/B

Bridge at I-44 West of Springfield


Contractor crews working to replace the obsolete Greene County Route MM/B bridge over I-44 west of Springfield will have a little less than three months to replace the bridge with a new taller and wider structure. Crews have from August 8 until November 8 to replace the structure.

The process to replace the bridge begins with its demolition the weekend of August 8. The new bridge will be built where the old bridge once stood, so that means drivers will not be able to cross I-44 during construction.

Between Friday, Aug. 8, and Saturday, Aug. 9, I-44 will be closed to allow crews to remove the remains of the bridge. During that time, MoDOT will work with local law enforcement to route I-44 traffic over the ramps at the interchange and to other nearby state routes.

Assistant District Engineer Dan Salisbury said MoDOT has worked with nearby businesses to lessen the amount of time needed to close the bridge and the time of year that the bridge would be closed for reconstruction.

The Route MM/B bridge is located close to the Springfield Livestock Marketing Center and an industrial area that serves the city of Republic.

“We tried to find the least objectionable time of year (for the bridge closing) and find ways to reduce confusion about the temporary detours for their customers,” he said.

MoDOT has visited with nearby businesses and emergency responders. A public meeting was held July 15 so anyone in the community with questions about construction and the resulting traffic impacts could visit with MoDOT and contractor representatives.

“Before the public meeting, we passed out 50 fliers to businesses in the areas, talking with them about the traffic impacts,” said Springfield Resident Engineer Brad Gripka. His office will oversee the project. “I’ve answered several phone calls about the project. We’re getting the word out.”

The new bridge will be wider – one lane in each direction with designated turn lanes at the ramps. It also will be taller to meet modern interstate standards. The new span will be 17.5 feet tall.

Because the height of the bridge will be raised, the ramps at the interchange also will need to be raised. That will mean closing the ramps toward the end of September for up to 30 days.

To help traffic navigate around the bridge closing, a signed detour will be in place throughout the project which includes Route MM, Route 360, Route 60, Route 174, Route N, Route T and Route 266.

The entire project will be completed by December 15, 2014. The prime contractor on the project is L. Krupp Construction of Ellisville, doing the work for a low bid amount of $1.8 million.

Click here for more project information.


For more info

Jennifer Williams
Customer Relations Manager
Southwest District

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