MoDOT warns drivers to avoid I-70 bridge construction

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COLUMBIA - Construction began Monday morning to replace the Interstate 70 bridges at Business Loop 70, Garth Avenue and Rangeline Street.

Construction crews will begin construction for the new bridge at Rangeline Street Monday.

MoDOT advises drivers to avoid the area if possible and find alternative routes.

Beginning Monday, the sidewalk along Rangeline Street between I-70 and Vandiver Drive will be closed for several months. Pedestrians and bicyclists are advised to take Business Loop 70 to Providence Road and Vandiver Drive.

MoDOT also advises pedestrians to use COMO Connect, Columbia's public transportation system.

With fall classes beginning at the University of Missouri on Monday as well, MoDOT said it is prepared for the increased traffic flow.

Travis Koestner, Assistant District Engineer for MoDOT Central District, said MoDOT will monitor traffic signals at major state highway intersections around the university to make sure they are operating properly.

Project manager Chip Jones advises local Columbia drivers to find alternative routes.

"Hopefully we can get some of the locals off I-70 while we're doing the projects. We would like for the locals to find alternate routes to help us so we can get this job done," Jones said.

The bridge construction should be completed by next year, according to Koestner.

MoDOT suggests motorists check road conditions before they travel by visiting the Traveler Information Map on MoDOT's website.