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I-44/Glenstone Interchange Project Likely to Cause Slowdowns

Work is underway on a project to reconstruct the Interstate 44/Glenstone Avenue interchange. KSMU's Michele Skalicky has more.

I’m standing near the I-44/Glenstone Interchange where work began earlier this week on an 8.3 million dollar interchange project.

Bob Edwards, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Transportation, says it’s going to be about an 18-month project consisting of several phases. Basically, they’re converting the interchange from its current cloverleaf configuration to a diamond one.

"The cloverleaf was a good design in the 50s and 60s, but it's not working now with as much traffic as we have on I-44 and some on Glenstone as well. We'll replace the bridges one at a time and we will add signals on Glenstone where the ramps intersect coming off of I-44."

The 2 bridges over I-44 at Glenstone will have to come down. The first is tentatively scheduled to be removed on February 6th.

"Starting at midnight, and we have to close traffic on I-44 for up to 18 hours, and we're going to let everybody in the world, as much as we can, know what's going to happen. We had a similar closing of I-44 when the did the project over on 65, and that's going to take place starting at midnight. We'll get as much done as possible when there's the least amount of traffic, but we know it's going to be a major disruption."

Motorists can expect slow-downs and ramps will be closed at times throughout the project. Access to area businesses will be maintained as much as possible.As part of the project, Greene County Route H will be widened to three lanes between I-44 and Valley Water Mill Road. The Route H intersections at McClernon Street and at Valley Water Mill Road will be widened to include new right-turn lanes.If you’d like to learn more, plan to attend an informational meeting Thursday (1/8) from 4:30 to 6:30.

"We've got a hall at Praise Assembly on N. Glenstone--a lot of good parking. And, people will be able to come there and talk to MODOT officials and leaders of the prime contractor, Emory, Sapp and Sons, find out how we're going to do this project, and we'll talk about ways we can help keep the traffic moving and help people find the businesses that may be impacted, so it'll be a good thing for folks to come to this meeting and get information and provide their ideas as well."

Again, the open-house-style meeting is Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 at Praise Assembly of God, 3535 N. Glenstone.The City of Springfield and Greene County each provided 1.5 million dollars for the project, which is expected to be finished by July 1, 2010.For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.