Taney/Christian Counties -- Traffic on Route 65 between Ozark and Branson will be reduced to one lane in each direction in two locations starting the week of April 2 and lasting into early July, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
The shift is needed to enable contractor crews to replace the decks on two bridges along southbound Route 65.
Southbound Route 65 traffic will be shifted to the northbound lanes at the Woods Fork bridge about 2-1/2 miles south of Route EE at Ozark and at the Camp Creek bridge near Busiek State Forest about six miles south of Route EE.
Work on the transition begins at 7 a.m. Monday, April 2, with a lane closed in each direction.
By mid-day Thursday, April 5, the southbound traffic will be shifted to the northbound left lane. And northbound Route 65 traffic will be down to one lane in the right-hand lane.
Highway Patrol troopers will help with traffic control along Route 65 during the traffic shift on Thursday.
Each section of two-way traffic on Route 65 will be about 1-1/2 miles long.
Once past either bridge, southbound Route 65 traffic will be shifted back to the southbound lanes and both lanes of northbound traffic will be open.
Traffic shift schedule:
Monday, April 2: One northbound lane of Route 65 will be closed approaching Camp Creek bridge at Busiek State Forest and approaching the Woods Fork bridge south of Route EE.
This will enable crews to re-stripe the northbound pavement and do other preparation work at the crossovers on either end of the two bridges ahead of the traffic shift scheduled for Thursday.
The northbound lane closing will remain in place 'round the clock at both bridges.
Tuesday, April 3: One southbound lane of Route 65 will be closed approaching each bridge.
This will enable crews to re-stripe the southbound pavement and move concrete barriers into place at the crossovers where southbound traffic will be shifted onto the northbound side of the highway.
The lane closing will remain in place 'round the clock until the traffic shift Thursday.
Thursday, April 5:
Final preparations will be completed at the crossover points in the Route 65 median:
At 9 a.m., southbound Route 65 traffic will be shifted into the northbound passing lane at the Camp Creek bridge near Busiek State Forest.
At 10 a.m. or 10:30 a.m., southbound Route 65 traffic will be shifted into the northbound passing lane at the Woods Fork bridge near Route EE.
At each location, Highway Patrol troopers will slow southbound Route 65 traffic and slowly lead the way through the crossovers and onto the northbound side.
The traffic shift at each bridge will be in place for up to 91 days into early July.
* Pay attention to messages about the work zones that will be posted on electronic message signs.
* Observe reduced speed limit of 55 mph. It will be easy to drive faster than that going down the hill approaching each bridge.
* Northbound and southbound drivers should merge carefully into one lane approaching each bridge.
* Southbound drivers should drive carefully through the median crossovers.
* Southbound Route 65 drivers at the Woods Fork bridge are urged to watch for drivers who may be slowing to make a right turn onto Sawmill Road near the south end of the bridge.
Other Traffic Impacts:
* In late March, contractor crews will begin resurfacing Route 65 at night.
Drivers can expect lane closings where paving crews are set up between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. Crews may work on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights if needed to stay on schedule.
* Slow-moving trucks will enter and leave the highway at various times in each work zone.
* The decks on the Woods Fork and Camp Creek bridges along southbound Route 65 will be replaced.
* All four lanes of Route 65 will be resurfaced between Christian County Route EE south of Ozark and Route 465 (Ozark Mountain Highroad) north of Branson.
Journagan Construction of Springfield is the prime contractor, doing the work for a low bid amount of $4.9 million.
Completion is scheduled for December 2012, although the contractor is working toward a late summer completion.
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