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MoDOT unveils plans, takes comment on Highway 54 improvements in Jefferson City


The Missouri Department of Transportation is working on plans to improve road safety and expand capacity on Highway 54 in north Jefferson City.

Some of the plans include widening the highway to six lanes from the Roy Blunt Bridge over the Missouri River to the Highway 63/94 interchange. Plans also include restriping the eastbound lanes of Highway 54 on the bridge to expand from three lanes to four.

Rehabilitation of the Route W bridge over Highway 54 and the interchange bridge at Highway 63 and 94 are also included in the plans. Work is expected to take place in 2024, with the contract for the work expected to be awarded in December 2023.

Central District Engineer Machelle Watkins said in a news release that traffic volume along this corridor continues to grow.

"We have been working with the city and county as well as local businesses that will be impacted to identify potential enhancements and reconfigurations for these intersections," Watkins said. "Our goal is to make the usage of this roadway as safe and reliable as possible for all travelers that come through that area."

According to Assistant District Engineer Randy Aulbur, the cost of the project will roughly be $4.5 million.

"There's federal fuel tax and state fuel tax," Aulbur said. "Those revenues generated from that go to improvements like this. If you buy an automobile or purchase a vehicle, you pay sales tax on that vehicle as well, and that sales tax is going towards it."

According to Aulbur, safety is another reason for the renovations to be done.

"It was meant as a way to address some of the congestion and improve the reliability. It also addresses a safety concern whenever you're backing traffic up."

Aulbur was referring to the times of high congestion in this area, more specifically during morning and afternoon rushes.

Although safety is in mind, some locals are not too thrilled with the proposed project, one going as far as to state "if it isn't broken, don't fix it."

Local business owners are also concerned with how construction will effect business. The owner of Turkey Creek Golf Course said with the construction, people will need to take a long way around to get to his business. He is concerned this will bring down the people coming into play golf or hit the driving range.

Residents can comment on the plan on MoDOT's website.

Article Topic Follows: Transportation

Ethan Heinz


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