Changes made to improve Columbia Mall traffic congestion

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COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Transportation made several changes to the congested area around the Columbia Mall Friday.

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The state added two new signals, three new exits off I-70, and finished the striping of Bernadette Drive.

"These improvements, coupled with the new diverging diamond interchange and the widening of Stadium Boulevard, are part of a package deal to make travel on Stadium near I-70 faster and safer," MoDOT Resident Engineer Charles Sullivan said in a press release. "This is one of the busiest areas in Columbia, and the improvements we're making will help reduce congestion and make travel safer for both motorists and pedestrians."

MoDOT officials said the entire project includes widening the area of Stadium Boulevard around the exit, which should be completed by winter of 2014.