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Business and the Economy

US 60/65 Interchange Project to be Completed this Year

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/us-6065-interchange-project-be-completed-year_33402.mp3

Around 8 o’clock tonight (3/9), the southbound 65 to westbound U.S. 60 ramp will close.  Missouri Department of Transportation spokesperson Angela Eden says that’s to allow workers to get ready to open a new ramp…

"They'll be doing some last minute touch-ups and some moving of some concrete barrier wall and what have you.  When the ramp re-opens at 2  o'clock Saturday morning, traffic will be using the new ramp, which connects to the new westbound U.S. 60 bridge over the railroad tracks."

She says this is the first step in a 3-step process to eventually shift all of U.S. 60 into the westbound lanes so crews can finish work on the 4thbridge over the railroad tracks.  That bridge will eventually carry eastbound 60 through the interchange.

According to Eden, the $57.1 million 60-65 interchange project is in the homestretch…

"We expect that the project will be finished sometime late summer/early fall.  We actually have two more bridges that we need to complete. One of them is the eastbound U.S. 60 bridge over the railroad tracks as well as the westbound U.S. 60 bridge over Lake Springfield."

The U.S. 60-65 interchange project began in May 2009.  It includes the building of ten bridges—eight of which have been completed—and the rehabilitation of two bridges.  Traffic has continued to move through the interchange during the project.

Eden says, while it was an expensive undertaking, it was needed for safety reasons…

"We had several major conflict points at the interchange that really were terribly terribly important safety issues before this project started, and that was primarily northbound on U.S. 65 as folks will remember who've lived in the area for awhile, we had two cloverleaf ramps.  One ramp entered northbound 65 while traffic was trying to exit at about the same point onto U.S. 60, and we had a lot of crashes.  We also had the whole situation where we had railroad tracks going over a four-lane  high speed freeway."

Again, watch out if you’re travelling in that area tonight.  The southbound 65 to westbound 60 ramp will be closed from around 8 pm to 2 am when a new ramp will open.  The detour will take motorists to the Evans Rd. interchange where they’ll exit to northbound 65 and then to westbound U.S. 60.