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US 60/65 Interchange Dedication Marks Completion of the Project

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Highway 60/65 Interchange

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/us-6065-interchange-dedication-marks-completion-project_48359.mp3

Sound:  highway

The dedication ceremony was held on an outer road just east of Highway 65, with the 60/65 interchange as a backdrop.

It began with MO State Highway Patrol Corporal John Lueckenhoff singing the National Anthem…

Sound:  National Anthem

The 3 ½ year project cost $71 million and includes two new flyover ramps, eight new bridges and two bridge rehabilitations.

An estimated 100 million vehicles travelled through the interchange during the work.

Becky Baltz is southwest district engineer for MODOT…

 

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt praised the cooperation of several entities in getting the project finished.  He says he’s glad to have been a part of it from the start…

 

Springfield Mayor Bob Stephens says the new interchange should help Springfield’s economy, in part by boosting tourism…

 

Joe Carmichael says the project was a long time in coming.  According to Carmichael, in the 1990s MODOT did a corridor study in Greene and Christian Counties that showed a need for additional lanes on Highway 65 and the rebuilding of certain interchanges including 60/65.  The Ozarks Transportation Organization included that interchange reconstruction as a top five priority in the early 2000s.

In 2004, Amendment 4 made the project financially feasible.

$18.5 million came from state road funds and $50.7 came from federal funds.

Carmichael says there will be no more major projects like this one anytime soon.  MODOT will be in a maintenance only mode in 2015…

 

He says the public will have to decide what kind of transportation system it wants in the future and how to pay for it.

For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.