Springfield, Greene County -- Work begins the week of April 9 on a project to convert Chestnut Expressway at Route 65 into a "Diverging Diamond Interchange," the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
Preliminary work will begin the week of April 9, with contractor crews installing work zone signs, moving in equipment and working on the ramps at the interchange.
During the project, drivers can expect narrowed driving lanes and narrowed ramp lanes. Traffic slowdowns can be expected at times.
Two major traffic impacts are scheduled during the project:
* For about 30 days in mid-summer, it will be necessary to close a short section of Chestnut Expressway/Farm Road 132 between the Route 65 ramps and a point just east of the former Hickory Hills school. Eastgate Avenue approaching Chestnut Expressway also will be closed.
* In September, during the final conversion to a "Diverging Diamond Interchange," Chestnut Expressway underneath Route 65 will be CLOSED over a weekend.
The project is designed to improve safety and relieve congestion at the interchange, especially on Chestnut Expressway where the Diverging Diamond Interchange design will eliminate conflicts involving vehicles turning left onto Route 65.
Other Traffic Impacts:
* Nighttime lane and ramp closings are possible at the Chestnut Expressway/Route 65 interchange.
* Chestnut Expressway/Farm Road 132 between a point just east of the interchange and a point east of the old Hickory Hills school will be closed for 30 calendar days after July 4 -- exact dates announced later -- to install a large water line underground and widen the roadway. Eastgate Avenue approaching Chestnut Expressway also will be closed. Interchange traffic will NOT be impacted during this work.
* Chestnut Expressway will be CLOSED over one weekend some time after Labor Day.
During that weekend closing of Chestnut Expressway, all ramps will be open, although for right turns only.
The Chestnut Expressway closing underneath Route 65 will begin at 8 p.m. on a Friday. The road will be reopened in the new Diverging Diamond configuration by 6 a.m. the following Monday.
Exact dates will be announced later.
Here's the project:
* The southbound off ramp from southbound Route 65-to-westbound Chestnut Expressway widened to add dual right-turn lanes. Northbound Route 65-to-westbound Chestnut Expressway ramp widened to add dual left-turn lanes.
* Install new traffic signals.
* Widen Chestnut Expressway/Farm Road 132 between the ramps on the east side of Route 65 and a point east of the old Hickory Hills school
* Convert the interchange to Diverging Diamond configuration. That means traffic on Chestnut Expressway will be shifted to the left-hand side of the road in each direction underneath Route 65. Traffic on Chestnut Expressway turning left onto Route 65 will no longer have to face oncoming vehicles traveling straight through the interchange.
The project is a partnership with the city of Springfield and Greene County.
The prime contractor is Hartman Construction of Springfield, doing the work for a low bid amount of $2.6 million. Completion is scheduled December 2012.
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