Crews in Jefferson City are preparing for a major bridge repair project.
MoDOT announced today, the Missouri river bridge closure will take place starting this weekend. It’s expected to significantly impact traffic to and from the capitol city.
MoDOT engineers said they expect peak travel times like the morning and evening rush hours to be more difficult starting next week.
They said there are some things you can do to avoid the worst of it. Starting Friday night, MoDOT plans to begin closing the Missouri river bridge’s westbound structure and on Monday, the more than 50,000 vehicles that cross it each day will have to share the eastbound lanes.
Engineers encourage commuters to pre-plan and time schedule changes in order to avoid rush hour traffic.
MoDOT engineer Patty Lemongelli told ABC 17 News, “Anything that they can do to try and do something different so that we’re not putting so much traffic in one place during the morning and afternoons would hopefully help the situation.”
While MoDOT has analyzed how the lane closures will affect traffic flow, they say there’s no way to make an accurate prediction, which is why the department will have crews standing by.
“We’re gonna be monitoring the situation and if there’s changes that we can feasibly make, we will go ahead and make those. we’re going be looking at signal timing and things like that,” said Lemongelli.
Meanwhile, Jefferson City emergency crews are working with agencies north of the river to keep response times to places like the airport at a minimum.
Division Chief Jason Turner with the Jefferson City Fire Department said, “It brought some concerns to us making sure that we can still continue quick, immediate response to that area in the event of an emergency.”
In order to avoid some of those emergencies, MoDOT reminds drivers to do their part.
“It’s easy to get distracted with all the activities going with the overhead and seeing the workers up high in the air,” said MoDOT engineer Terry Imhoff. “Just watch the traffic and stay focused on the road.”
Weather-permitting, the new traffic layout is scheduled to be in place by Monday. It’s scheduled to last until early September.