BUS LOOP WORK

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COLUMBIA - After nearly two months of construction on the Business Loop exit off of I-70, the ramp is set to re-open at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The exit has been closed since June 7 to install a new, dual-lane roundabout. It is designed to increase safety and traffic flow off the exit.

This is the third and final part of the Columbia I-70 Bridges project, an $18 million effort by MoDOT that replaced three bridges across I-70, which includes Garth Avenue and MO Route 763 at Rangeline Street.

Emery Sapp and Sons completed all three projects in less than a year, beating its target date by more than two months. ESS branch manager Chip Jones said roundabouts help keep drivers moving on the road.

"One of the frustrating things as a commuter is when you sit at a light and there's nobody there," Jones said. "So when you're stopped at a red light, you're just continuing to sit there, and you're burning gas. It's inefficient as well. So, on a roundabout, if nobody's there, you can keep on moving. It's a free-flowing movement."

Project manager Jeff Doerhoff said the new roundabout will lessen the burden brought on by the high volume of cars coming through the area.

"They help eliminate traffic signals and also slow down traffic as they come down in to the intersection," he said.

Minor work remains to be done, but the roundabout will remain open during that time. The roadwork will be completed by August 1.

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