MoDOT is starting a new phase in the Lafayette interchange project in Jefferson City and it could cause drivers delays.
There are two westbound lanes on Highway 50 that pass over the bridge just after Lafayette Street. There is also a westbound ramp that exits onto Lafayette Street.
Crews will begin closing down the right driving lane Wednesday night, and it will remain closed for the next eight weeks.
Drivers will have two options: They can either go straight in the left passing lane to the Monroe light just over the bridge, or they can take the exit ramp and get off onto Lafayette Street, but they will not be able to get back onto the highway.
It will cause delays, especially during the peak morning rush hour times between 6 and 9.
This eight weeks is just phase two of the project.
The entire bridge will close after that eight weeks, and Lafayette Street will also be closed until the project is complete.
MoDOT is going to be lowering the road and the bridge several feet in order to lower the hill just before the Monroe light on Highway 50.
While the delays will be inconvenient, MoDOT engineers said not only will construction replace a bridge that’s badly in need of repair, but it will also improve safety when drivers have to stop at the light.
“It gives you more time for sight distance,” said MoDOT engineer Terry Imhoff. “The longer it is, the more time you have to react to stop traffic in different conditions.”
When the current phase in complete, more changes are coming: Crews will block off the entire Highway 50 bridge above Lafayette Street.
Westbound traffic will be diverted down across Lafayette Street and back up onto the highway after the bridge.
Imhoff said drivers should try to take another route or avoid those peak morning hours by leaving early or going to work late.
The project should be finished by summer 2016.