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COLUMBIA - With the combination of returning students and people heading to the Missouri State Fair in the next week, MoDOT is encouraging drivers to take extra care.

Starting Sunday, parts of I-70 near the Lake of the Woods area will be replaced and resurfaced. Two lanes of traffic will be open, with one lane being directed onto the Lake of the Woods exit. The other lane will remain on I-70.

Travis Koestner, the Central District Assistant Engineer from MoDOT said

"We ask people to watch out for the buses and watch out for the kids," Koestner said. "We're trying to get the word out that the construction zones are still up and there's really not a lot we can do to halt construction now."

Work on the Highway 54/63 bridge over the Missouri River in Jefferson City is also still happening. Koestner said people should drive the speed limit of 35 miles per hour across the bridge and expect heavier traffic with elementary and high schools starting next week.

"We've had a few instances the last couple weeks where folks probably got in a little bit of a hurry and got into a minor accident," Koestner said. "But, a minor accident that occurs there that takes ten minutes to clear ends up with a traffic backup that lasts substantially longer."

Additionally, heavy traffic is expected on I-70 near the Sedalia area due to the state fair. Koestner said the best way to get to the fair is to take Highway 50, as there is less traffic. 

The state fair ends August 21, the I-70 re-paving is expected to be done by August 24, and the bridge work over the Missouri River is set to be done by September.