MoDOT to Widen I-70
The Federal Highway Administration has approved the state's widening plan for I-70.
But, an easier drive could mean possible headaches for local businesses.
The Missouri Department of Transportation's multi-tiered plan in 2000 studied the impact I-70 expansion would have on the area.
"The first tier basically laid out a statewide strategy that shows that the interstate needs to be three lanes in each direction," explained MoDOT spokesman Bob Brendel, "four lanes in some places, and it needs to be rebuilt from the ground up."
Although his store won't be affected, Columbia's Chuck Everitt said city officials should try to protect businesses during interstate expansion.
"So, anything that they can do to improve it without hurting that many businesses, and tearing down that many buildings, is really something that needs to be done in Columbia, " said Everitt, owner of Award Pet Supply.
MoDOT's plan may force 50 businesses to relocate, although Brendel said the department is doing everything it can to minimize the impact construction might have.
The original plan for I-70 in the early 1960s called for only two lanes in both directions for 20 years. Most of the underlying pavement is 50 years old.