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Whitton Expressway reopens after weekend closure

Highway 50 in Jefferson City reopened Monday after closing on Friday night, while MoDOT demolished the overpasses at Chestnut and Jackson streets.

ABC 17 News was in Cole County Friday to check out the detour route in Wardsville and Taos just outside Jefferson City. We asked MoDOT and law enforcement if they were prepared for the influx of traffic.

Crews in Wardsville spent the afternoon putting up signs and making sure drivers know how to navigate the Highway 50 detour.

Over the weekend, traffic from Highway 50/63 will be sent out to Route B through Wardsville, and then Route M through Taos.

MoDOT engineers said they also had maintenance crews along the routes all weekend to make sure things go smooth and motorists are safe.

“They’re going to monitor the intersection at M, B, and W in Wardsville to make sure I don’t have any congestion. They have traffic control signs and equipment there and available if they see problems arise they’re prepared to set up a flagging situation if need be,” said engineer Terry Inhoff.

The intersection at Wardsville was the busiest along the route with the most potential for problems if traffic backs up.

MoDOT was in coordination with the Highway Patrol and the Cole County Sheriff’s Department.

“We knew this was coming. We will have extra people on, we know and MoDOT knows that these roads are not usually used for this heavy traffic, but what people have to do is keep this in perspective and realize this is only going to be for a short time, and for the huge project that they’re accomplishing here in Jefferson City. This is the only time they’ll be shutting down the road so it’s a huge benefit to the citizens.”

Officials said they expect local traffic will use city streets around the project like McCarty and Dunklin. However, if people try to use city streets, there could be citations issued to commercial drivers.

Highway 50 opened again early Monday in time for the morning commute.

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