COLUMBIA - Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) briefed the public Friday about a $12.8 million expansion plan for Stadium Boulevard. Beginning Monday, MoDOT crews will start construction on a diverging diamond interchange at Stadium Boulevard and Interstate 70. It will be the first diverging interchange in central Missouri. The project also consists of widening Stadium Boulevard between Bernadette Drive and Broadway from two lanes to three on each side.
The roadways involved in the expansion project serve the Columbia Mall and numerous shops, restaurants, and businesses. MoDOT engineer Mike Schupp advised traffic will get worse before it gets better. MoDOT plans to do most construction at night, but motorist should still expect delays until the project is finished.
The first phase of the project involves building a diverging diamond interchange, which allows motorists to make free left turns. With the interchange, vehicles won't cross opposing traffic, reducing the chance of collision. The interchange can also handle larger volumes of traffic. MoDOT officials said the new interchange will reduce congestion and make travel safer for motorists.
Motorists entering the interchange on Stadium will be directed to the opposite side of the roadway after traveling through a set of traffic lights. Those who want to get on the interstate will turn left on the ramp without stopping for more lights or crossing opposing traffic. Drivers going straight will proceed through the second set of traffic lights, redirecting them to the right side of the road.
Emery Sapp and Sons, Inc. of Columbia is the contractor for the $12.8 million project. The expansion is funded through a cost-share agreement between MoDOT, the City of Columbia, and three transportation development districts. The project is scheduled to be completed in the winter of 2014.
For more information on how the diverging diamond interchange will work, visit MoDOT's website.