Posted on May 2, 2012 at 7:09 AM
Wednesday, May 2 at 7:10 AM
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) -- Drivers on Interstate 270 are going to see some changes starting Wednesday night. MoDOT says construction crews will be shutting down traffic lanes so asphalt paving can begin.
The project will cost about $10 million dollars and is expected to last about two years. When the work is complete the lanes will be narrowed by one foot, from 12 feet wide down to 11 feet. A MoDOT engineer says during the rebuilding of Highway 40/I-64 the lanes on Interstate 44 were narrowed to 11 feet while a temporary lane was added to help handle increased traffic.
MoDOT's Jesse Jonas says studies also show that the more narrow lane will not affect drivers to any great degree and they will not slow down because they are feeling "squeezed."
A permanent fifth lane will be added to 270 between Interstate 44 and Manchester road. Parts of 270 run between bluffs which will have to be cut back. MoDOT says anywhere from 2-3 feet up to 15 feet of the rocky bluffs must be carved back to make room for the highway widening.
Here is the news release from MoDOT.
The Missouri Department of Transportation will begin narrowing lanes on northbound and southbound Interstate 270 from Manchester Road (Route 100) to Interstate 44 starting Wednesday, May 2. MoDOT will close various lanes on northbound I-270 at night this week for asphalt paving operations. Crews will narrow one lane at a time from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays. Next week, crews will do the same closures and work on southbound I-270.
Because of the restrictions on the roadway and rock bluffs, MoDOT will permanently narrow all lanes on northbound and southbound I-270 to 11 feet (the same width as I-44 during the I-64 reconstruction in 2009 and 2010), which allows for the ability to widen the highway and add a fifth lane during this project. When construction is completed, this section of roadway will still have full width shoulders in most locations.
Construction for this entire widening project on I-270 will occur for approximately two years, which includes widening work, roadway construction, work in the rock bluffs and installing sound walls. MoDOT will narrow and shift the existing four lanes in from Manchester to I-44 in the two year project, so motorists will have no shoulders in some locations as crews widen the road. Motorists can expect lane closures at night and during day-time off peak hours as a part of this work. When construction is completed, it should increase the average speed and reduce delays during peak travel times. Construction of the actual widening work will occur this year on northbound I-270. The southbound widening work begins in 2013.