U.S. Route 54 in Jefferson City lanes reduced for bridge work over U.S. Route 50

Expect major delays mid-June through early September

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Significant travel delays are expected on U.S. Route 54 in Jefferson City beginning later this month. When the bridge rehabilitation project begins, Route 54 will be narrowed to one lane in each direction between the Missouri River and Business Route 50 (Missouri Boulevard) through early September. Final preparations are being coordinated and an exact start date will be announced soon.

The Missouri Department of Transportation has contracted with Concrete Strategies, LLC to perform bridge joint and deck repairs, then place a new concrete wearing surface on two overpasses on Route 54: over U.S. Route 50 (locally known as the tri-level) and over McCarty Street. The contractor has 90 calendar days to complete the work on both bridges. Incentives have been included in the contract for an earlier completion.

Route 54 will remain open, but narrowed to one lane in each direction with a concrete barrier separating the head-to-head traffic. A 15-foot width restriction and speed reduction to 35 mph will be in place through the work zone.

This stretch of Route 54 carries more than 31,000 vehicles on an average day. Significant delays are expected in both directions during weekday morning and evening rush.

“Travelers headed to and from the Lake of the Ozarks region should consider alternate routes to avoid significant delays especially on Friday afternoons for westbound traffic and Sunday afternoons for eastbound drivers,” said MoDOT Central District Engineer Machelle Watkins. “Those towing recreational vehicles such as boats or campers wider than 15 feet will not be able to travel through the work zone.”

To reduce congestion, drivers are encouraged to use both lanes to the point where one lane closes, then use a zipper merge – alternating vehicles merging to a single lane of traffic. Research shows traffic moves more smoothly when motorists use both lanes until reaching the defined merge area and then alternate merging every other vehicle in "zipper" fashion into the open lane.

By using both full lanes of traffic until the merge point, you reduce the difference in speed between the two lanes and the length of backups is reduced 40-50 percent. Click here to watch a video of the zipper merge in action. For more information on safe merging, visit www.modot.org/zipper-merge.

A resurfacing project is also planned for Route 54 later this summer, which could further delay traffic. Contractors will resurface Route 54 from the Missouri River in Jefferson City to just north of Kingdom City, north of Interstate 70. While the entire resurfacing project is scheduled to continue into 2025, the third lane of eastbound Route 54 between the Missouri River and U.S. Route 63, is expected to be resurfaced – and opened to traffic – by the beginning of September 2024.

A webpage about these and other projects on the Route 54 corridor in the Jefferson City area can be found at https://www.modot.org/guide-us-route-54-improvement-projects-jefferson-city. While there, sign up for project-specific email updates.

All work is weather permitting, and schedules are subject to change.

MoDOT asks all motorists to work with us by buckling up, putting your phone down, obeying all traffic signs, and slowing down and moving over in work zones.  

For more information about MoDOT projects, traffic updates, or other transportation-related matters, please visit our Traveler Information Map at http://traveler.modot.org/ or call our 24-hour Customer Service Center at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636). While at modot.org, sign up for work zone updates sent directly to your inbox. Information is also available 24/7 by connecting with us on social media:

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