Drivers who traveled through Missouri on Interstate 70 over Labor Day weekend may have been frustrated with the heavy traffic and large number of trucks roaring past them. Help is on the way, with plans to widen the interstate from four to six lanes from Kansas City to St. Louis.
Kansas City area residents participated in a public meeting Tuesday afternoon at the Jackson County Fire Protection District Education Center in Blue Springs.
Questions fielded at the meeting included how long the project would take, what areas would be completed first and how lane closures would be handed.
“Right now, we don’t have every answer, but we are sharing what information we do have,” Erik Kopinski, project manager for the Improve I-70 program, told “Missourinet.” “We did release a draft schedule, and we are sharing the information we have and getting any public comments or public feedback. We also have all this information on our website, so anyone that’s unable to make this can visit our website and go through the information that that’s being shared at these public meetings.”
The first section of the project will be 20-mile stretch between Columbia and Kingdom City in central Missouri, with work on that section set to begin next year. The second phase will be an approximately 18-mile segment from Wentzville to Warrenton. Plans call for the entire 200-mile, $2.8 billion project to be completed in seven years.
“That’s very aggressive from start to cutting the final ribbon,” Kopinski said. “As we talk to other states who have done similar projects, this is a 20- to 30-year project. We condensed that down here in Missouri and are working with our contractors to make sure we can deliver on that.”
Two more public meetings are scheduled for this week:
- 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Battle High School auxiliary gym, 7575 St. Charles, Road in Columbia
- 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Hannah Cole Primary School gym, 700 W. Ashley Road in Boonville
More information is available at www. Improve I-70 | Missouri Department of Transportation (modot.org)