Eastbound I-44 Lanes Have Been Split in Construction Zone

By Sue Blesi

The accident-plagued stretch of I-44 extending from Route 100 to the Pacific exits now has the two eastbound lanes divided as of 7:00 p.m. last night.

According to MoDOT, road crews shifted traffic to the new inside lane along the barrier wall and kept one outside lane open to traffic. The middle lane is closed and will remain closed for about two weeks while the road crew replaces the center lane. Traffic on the inside lane will not be able to exit at Gray Summit. Crews will work around the clock seven days a week to replace the center lane.

MoDOT will divide the two westbound lanes on I-44 between the same exits as the work on the eastbound lanes nears completion. The speed limit remains 50 miles per hour in this section of interstate.

This work is part of the I-44 Resurfacing Project that is an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Project awarded in July 2009 by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for approximately $17.3 million dollars to Fred Weber, Inc. Work for this project consists of grading, drainage improvements, pavement replacement and the median closure on I-44 between Pacific and the Route 100 (Washington) exit. The project is expected to be complete in October 2010.

Traffic speeds change constantly in this work zone area based on congestion levels. Motorists need to pay attention while driving through this zone, reduce their speed and use caution.