Drivers journeying from Callaway County to Jefferson City will have more than the bridge construction to worry about in their commute this month.
According to a release from the Missouri Department of Transportation, portions of lanes on U.S. Route 54 will be closed for the month of November. Beginning Nov. 1, contractors will start paving one lane of both the eastbound and westbound 54 between Fulton and Holts Summit. Work will be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through December.
Rick Hess, city manager for Holts Summit, said the improvements will be here just in time for winter.
"I think it's a great thing," he said. "They'll get the roads resurfaced and the weather will make less of an impact on them."
The commute delays shouldn't be any worse than the current bridge induced traffic, Hess added.
"It will create some driving hassles, but in the grand scheme of things, it's a great thing," he said. "I don't think it will make it any more difficult to cross the river than it is now."
According to Hess, construction could be done by December if there are no delays.
"Of course, Mother Nature can throw a wrench in it," he said, laughing. "As long as weather cooperates, I can see them getting it done fairly quickly."
In addition to the work between Fulton and Holts Summit, the interchange in Kingdom City will also be getting a facelift. Curt Warfield, city manager of Kingdom City, said the road improvements will affect travelers, but will be worth the trouble.
"It will be an inconvenience for some," he said. "That's the price of progress, I suppose. It's long overdue."
With major intersecting freeways, Warfield said the roads in Kingdom City take quite a beating.
"Eighteen-wheeler traffic is pretty hard on the surface," he said.
Reid Riley, a resident engineer with MoDOT, said the interchange will go through a complete concrete replacement.
"We are removing existing concrete pavement and replacing it," he said. "This will affect some of the turning capabilities in the intersection."
The construction should take approximately two weeks, said Riley.
"We will be starting the construction on the north side of the I-70," he said. "None of the through ways on the I-70 will be impacted."
The detours, scheduled to last until Friday at 6 p.m., will affect any car using the westbound I-70 ramp to the westbound 54 and eastbound 54 getting on westbound I-70. They will instead be rerouted to the Hatton and Calwood exits on the interstate.
For more information about this project, please call 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636) or visit www.modot.org/central.