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All Six Lanes of Highway 65 Open for Use

As of today, work has been completed on the seven and a half mile long stretch of highway 65 between I-44 and Route 60 in Springfield. KSMU’s Matthew Barnes reports. 

Commuters will be able to look forward to a smoother ride on Highway 65.  The project took the Missouri Department of Transportation or MoDOT about two years and $27 million to complete.  The work was much needed according to Bob Edwards MoDOT’s spokesperson. 

“The growth of the region the growth of traffic on Route 65 required extra lanes its been needed for several years.  This road is heavily used by commuters a lot of businesses rely on this road and of course the many tourist who visit Springfield or go through Springfield to the various attractions in Southwest Missouri this is one of our main gate ways to this region,” Says Edwards. 

The six lane project expanded after economic stimulus funds became available in 2009. This is the first six lane highway in southern Missouri says Edwards and MoDOT has added safety features.

“We were going to put guard cable down the grass median to prevent cross over crashes. And when the money became available to widen the highway had to widen at the lanes in the center so that eliminated the median. But we put a concrete wall separating the north bound and south bound lanes. And that a huge safety item to prevent cross over crashing,” says Edwards. 

The project also included repairing uplifted pavement and replacing a bridge over the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad tracks.  Springfield and Greene County will start another project to add sound reducing walls along Highway 65 between Highway 60 and Cherry Street with completion expected May 2012.

For KSMU’s News, I’m Matthew Barnes.