Work has officially begun by MoDOT to build a new interchange at the intersection of U.S. Route 54 and Business Route 54/Osage Hills Road in Lake Ozark next week. The work is scheduled to last until Winter 2021, and will likely alter the travel times of lake residents for the better part of that time frame.

Work has officially begun by MoDOT to build a new interchange at the intersection of U.S. Route 54 and Business Route 54/Osage Hills Road in Lake Ozark next week. The work is scheduled to last until Winter 2021, and will likely alter the travel times of lake residents for the better part of that time frame.

MoDOT Engineer Bob Lynch says that a number of new ramps, roundabouts and fill work are to be worked on throughout the next year. The main goal of the work is to make the intersection more safe for travelers along US-54.

According to MoDOT: “The most recent data states that 32 crashes took place during the last five years at that intersection. The new interchange will replace the existing signaled intersection in an effort to increase traffic safety and improve traffic flow. The project will involve building two new bridges on Route 54, just west of the existing intersection, as well as three roundabouts near the interchange. Crews will also complete grading and paving to incorporate the intersections of Route 54, Business Route 54, Miller County Route W and Osage Hills Road into the interchange.”
The decision to start this work was based on a number of factors.

Of course, as previously noted, safety concerns were at the top of the list, but increased traffic totals along the route also aided in making this project a priority. Lynch says that traffic near the existing stop signal holiday and summer months can’t handle the sheer amount of traffic coming through as effectively as they would like. As the lake grows, the demand for safe roadways does as well.

Lynch expects that delays and construction interruptions to be seen on the route beginning in March. Lanes will be made to cross over the median and create new pathways as the construction continues. Much excavating work will be seen in the area as pathways are created under the existing roadways of US-54. Lynchs says US-54 will remain at the same elevation level and a pathway will instead be created underneath, effectively making US-54 a bridge.

Of course, all work being done will be determined in part by the weather in the area. Lynch hopes that it will dry up some in order to get the project started on time.

“It’s a complicated project with $9.7 million worth of work,” Lynch said. “The sheer volume will take a while to do.”