MoDOT Project Could Cause Traffic Delays

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BOONE COUNTY - Missouri drivers expressed concern Thursday about future Missouri Department of Transportation projects approved for Boone County. Tuesday, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission approved state road plans for the next five years, costing $58 million. 

Overall, MoDOT plans resurfacing work on several different roads, including Highway 63 and Providence Road.

Replacing the Interstate 70 bridge over Business Loop 70 will be the most highly-impactful project, costing $9.8 million. The construction may cause the most traffice disruption. MoDOT officials said the project would take about one construction season - the equivalent of one year. 

Drivers said that because I-70 is known to get congested due to trucks and travelers, this construction could cause serious traffic delays.

"This area, at five o'clock, is already congested. I mean, you'll sit here for 20 minutes just waiting to get out of this parking lot. So, with that being said, I personally will avoid this area at all costs," said driver Stephanie Key.

MoDOT says bridge construction is not weather-restricted, and crews can work year-round to complete the project if needed. 

"We would prefer to go down 70 to get to Columbia itself. We live in Fulton, the Fulton area, so it would be out of the way for a lot of people. I'm not sure how they would direct the traffic," said driver Paula Flint.

Eventually, MoDOT hopes to rebuild I-70 altogether, but current funding doesn't leave room for such a major overhaul. MoDOT officials said their funding comes mainly from taxes collected on fuel, but with fuel consumption reducing in the past few years, they are seeing more restrictions on projects they can complete.

There is no start date on any of the projects yet, but the bids are likely to be accepted in 2014. Construction is projected to begin in 2015.