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New signs on Route 54 to reduce wrong-way crashes

The Missouri Department of Transportation began replacing “wrong way” and “do not enter” signs along a 100-mile stretch of route 54 to improve safety said Mo-DOT engineer Trent Brooks.

Last summer two teens died in a wrong-way collision while multiple agencies were auditing Route 54 to evaluate how safe it was to drive. That audit was released in November, and Mo-DOT has since made plans that will be implemented over the next year. First was to make the signs bigger and brighter.

“We’re definitely hopeful that as drivers pull up on the side street and get to the divided highway that it will be one more additional thing that they’ll see that they are on a divided highway,” said Brooks, “So they don’t just pull up and if they want to turn left they don’t just turn left automatically, that they’ll have some additional sign.”

Monday’s construction will continue until Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning, but it should only take place in the medians so no lanes are expected to close.

Guard cable will be added starting from the Missouri River Bridge working toward I-70, in addition to the new signs. A high-friction surface will be added to certain corners to reduce chances of skidding off the road. Most work will start after the Fourth of July but “won’t be completely wrapped up until next spring,” said Brooks.

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