Southwest District -- A project to install new Interstate 49 signs is beginning along U.S. 71 between McDonald County Route H in Pineville and I-435 on the south edge of Kansas City, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
The signing project will require lane closings at times where the work is taking place in McDonald, Newton, Jasper, Barton, Vernon, Bates, Cass and southern Jackson counties.
In some areas in those counties, workers may not have to close a lane but will be set up on the shoulder close to traffic.
Several crews may be working along different stretches of the 180-mile long corridor at any given time.
About 1,200 signs are being put up. They include large and small signs off the shoulders of the highway, overhead signs mounted on trusses and reference markers and other signs.
Signs with the I-49 shield will be covered or turned away from view until MoDOT receives final approval later this year from the Federal Highway Administration for the I-49 designation. After the final approval is authorized, the I-49 signs will be uncovered or rotated into place.
The prime contractor on the signing project is Drew Corp. of Indianapolis, Ind., doing the work for a low bid amount of $3.5 million.
The project is set for completion by Dec. 1, 2012.
The signing project is in the final group of U.S. 71 projects needed before the highway can be designated as I-49.
An interchange is under construction at Vernon County Route TT north of Nevada.
An interchange and two overpasses are under construction in Cass County and an outer road project will be built in Bates County between Butler and Rich Hill.
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