Highway 54 Expansion Underway
Thursday Mo-DOT held a ground breaking ceremony for a new expressway. Construction for the new U.S. 54 expressway is broken down into three projects. The first project is already underway but work for the second project begins on October 29.
Central District Engineer Roger Schwartze welcomed everyone to the ground breaking event.
Both Mo-DOT and the Lake of the Ozarks community are very excited about this much anticipated expressway.
"For safety, for convenience, just to have a more enjoyable experience," says Osage Beach resident Pam Shelton. "This is well needed."
The $150 million project will pay for a four lane expressway with no stoplights and a 65 mph speed limit. There will be six interchanges along the 8.7 mile stretch from about one mile west of Route KK to the Osage River. Since the expressway will be separate from the existing Highway 54, Mo-DOT doesn't expect heavy delays during construction.
"We're going to have temporary delays periodically and most of those will be done during the off season when there's not as much traffic down here," says Mo-DOT Area Engineer Bob Lynch.
"We're going to have to be patient with it," says Shelton. "I think it's worth the wait. And when it's done I think everyone will know it was well worth it."
Don Schneiders Excavating Company from Jefferson City is currently working on a bypass bridge for the first project. Then Mcaninch Corporation from Des Moines, Iowa will work on the first major section of the expressway.
Mo-DOT anticipates the expressway will open for traffic by spring 2010.