Repairs to the Lamine River bridges west of Boonville have begun to significantly affect Interstate 70 traffic.
Repairs to the Lamine River bridges west of Boonville have begun to significantly affect Interstate 70 traffic. Westbound traffic narrow to one lane Monday night. Eastbound traffic was reduced to one lane by Tuesday morning, and all vehicles were to share a bridge beginning Wednesday, July 13. A single lane will run in each direction for up to 45 days.
The bridge closures are expected to cause significant travel delays, especially on peak travel days, the biggest of which are Thursdays and Fridays. Missouri Department of Transportation officials are strongly encouraging I-70 motorists to use alternate east-west routes, such as U.S. Routes 50 and 36, while the project is in progress. The eastbound bridge will be improved first and will take about 22 days. The westbound bridge will be rehabilitated after the eastbound bridge is finished and that work will last about 23 days.
Both bridges are scheduled to be completed by the end of August, at which time traffic flow will return to two lanes in each direction. The message boards along I-70 will alert motorists to the bridge work. In addition, a Smart Work Zone system is in place to keep motorists informed and traffic moving. The system uses cameras and sensors to determine travel times through the project limits and provide real-time travel updates to motorists via message boards.
All drivers are encouraged to use the zipper merge technique on the approach to the work zone, which means using both lanes all the way to the merge point, then taking turns to merge into the open lane. When motorists use both lanes of traffic until reaching the defined merge area and then alternate in "zipper" fashion into the open lane, the overall length of the traffic backup could be reduced by 40-50 percent. More information about the zipper merge can be found at
http://www.modot.org/workzones/ZipperMerge.htm. Other tools that will help motorists navigate the work zone, including traffic cameras located near the bridges, can be found on the project website - www.modot.org/central/I70LamineBridge.htm. -MoDOT