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J-turns open on Highway 63 in Boone County

The Missouri Department of Transportation opened the J-turns on Highway 63 and Hinton Road in Boone County Monday.

It’s been a dangerous intersection as there have been two deadly crashes there in the past ten years.

MoDOT has been adding j-turns in the area to improve safety, saying they make it easier for drivers making a left turn from either side of Highway 63.

“A lot of the funding that we have used for J-turns are safety-related funds,” MODoT Central District engineer Travis Koestner said. “There’s so much money dedicated for safety-type projects, and that’s what we consider these jobs.”

Cherry Sheldon lives near the intersection, and has driven both ways on Highway 63 for work since then, in both Huntsville and Columbia. She said she never used a J-turn before today, but said they seem easy to use.

“Some people were saying, ‘oh, you have to drive so far, then then you have to backtrack.’ That’s really not the case here,” Sheldon said. “You don’t have to drive hardly any much further from Hinton Road and you’re able to get on it. So I’m pleased with it.”

One farmer who also lives nearby said his farm equipment can only get up to 55 miles per hour. He said trying to merge from the J-turn acceleration lane to the highway’s fast lane may be dangerous.

The cost of the project added up to $1.4 million.

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