COLUMBIA — The eastbound ramps at the Interstate 70 and Route Z interchange east of Columbia will open to traffic at 4 p.m. Friday, two months earlier than originally scheduled.
Missouri Department of Transportation crews closed the ramps in early April to replace the bridge that carries Route Z traffic over the interstate. The deck for the new overpass was scheduled to be poured 5:30 to 10 a.m. Friday with no interruption to I-70 traffic.
MoDOT worked with contractor Don Schnieders Excavating Co. of Jefferson City for the project. President Don Rhea said his company accelerated the schedule to accommodate businesses in the area.
The openings of the on-ramp and off-ramp will enable I-70 traffic to again have direct access to I-70 Drive Southeast. MoDOT spokeswoman Sally Oxenhandler said congestion on the interstate during construction affected other access points, including the Lake of the Woods interchange about two miles to the west.
The new overpass is part of the Route Z project to improve the road in Boone County. Other components include adding shoulders and resurfacing Route Z from I-70 to St. Charles Road three-fourths of a mile to the north, and building a roundabout at the intersection of Route Z and St. Charles Road.
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The contract for the entire project is $2.052 million and calls for a completion date of Aug. 5. Both of the westbound ramps are still scheduled to open at that time.
MoDOT officials were expected to provide an update on the project Friday morning.
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