COLUMBIA - An expensive project MoDOT has planned for a popular interchange in Columbia may have you driving on the opposite side of the road. It may seem odd, but the changes are actually to make the intersection safer.
MoDOT plans to construct a diverging diamond interchange on Stadium Boulevard and I-70 in Columbia. The idea behind the project is to minimize drivers turning into on-coming traffic while entering a ramp to merge onto the highway, or merging from a ramp off the highway onto Stadium Boulevard.
MoDOT says the new interchange will make drivers safer and improve the flow of traffic, but it may take drivers a little while to get used to. Drivers will be directed to the opposite side of the road than they are accustomed at one side of the overpass bridge, and then back at the other side.
The project will also include an expansion of Stadium Boulevard from the current five lane, undivided roadway to a six lane road with a median. This expansion will range from north of I-70 to south of Broadway. New lanes will also be added to Fairview Road from Worley Avenue North to the west entrance of the Columbia Mall and to Bernadette Drive from Fairview Road to Beverly Drive.
The project will cost MoDOT, the City of Columbia and three transporation development districts approximately $20 million.
MoDOT wants your input on the change coming to these popular roadways, but Friday is the last day you can let the department know what you think of their plan. Go to http://www.modot.org/central/major_projects/Boone740_PublicHearingMay2011.htm for more information on the construction and to let MoDOT know what you think. The public hearing is only open through June 3, 2011, so make sure to act before then.