Highway closure diverts drivers around Jefferson City

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JEFFERSON CITY - Road improvements had portions of Highway 50 and 63 closed through Jefferson City Saturday, resulting in a detour around the city and alternate routes for drivers.

Highway 50 and 63 between Clark Avenue and Monroe Street was closed Friday at 7 p.m. and is on track to be reopened early, according to Andy Shorten, Estimator for Greg Bair Track Hoe Service, the company working on the project.

"We're looking good to get done early. Sometime Sunday the road ought to be open," Shorten said.

Shorten said the crews working this weekend are getting the old bridges demolished, clearing out the debris and reopening the highway. The new bridges will be built over the next several months.

The detour for traffic trying to move through the area takes drivers headed east out Highway 54 to Route B through Wardsville, then to Route M through Taos, and back to Highway 50. The detour follows the same roads in reverse for traffic trying to head west on 50.

Shorten said the detour has worked well.

"The traffic guys did a great job," He said. "We haven't had anybody come through our barricades."

The closure was part of MoDOT's plan for road improvements in the area. The master plan will create a new interchange at Highway 50 and Lafayette Street, add a lane in each direction on Highway 50 from Monroe Street to Lafayette Street and from Lafayette to Clark Avenue, replace three bridges and add two new ones as part of the interchange, among other improvements.  

This weekend's changes include the demolition of the Jackson Street bridge, which will be closed until the fall of 2016, and Chestnut Street bridge, which will be closed until June of 2015.