JEFFERSON CITY – Work to improve safety and traffic flow on U.S. Route 50 will totally close a section of Route 50 that runs through Jefferson City this weekend. 

Westbound Route 50 in Jefferson City will be closed from Clark Avenue to Monroe Street and eastbound Route 50 will be closed from Madison Street to Clark Avenue from 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 6 until 6 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 9. The closure is necessary to allow workers to remove the Jackson Street and Chestnut Street bridges, which carry vehicles over the expressway. Motorists are asked to plan ahead and take alternate routes around the area. 
“This closure will affect travelers across the state, so we are working diligently to get the message out to avoid traveling Route 50, also known as the Whitton Expressway, through Jefferson City this weekend,” said Missouri Department of Transportation Resident Engineer Terry Imhoff.  “We will have staff monitoring traffic flow and signal timings to ensure traffic moves as smoothly as possible given this major highway closure.  We’re also working closely with local officials, businesses, schools and law enforcement to ensure all goes well.”
Motorists, particularly those driving large trucks, are advised to use the following detours around the closure:
·         Traveling East: Detour to Route 54 to Route B to Wardsville to Route M through Taos and back to Route 50.
·         Traveling West: Detour to Route M through Taos and Wardsville to Route B to Route 54 back to Route 50.
Signs will lead motorists through the detours during the closure. Electronic message boards have already been placed along the route to inform motorists of the closure and the detours.
The Jackson Street and Chestnut Street bridges will also be closed in preparation for their removal and replacement. The Jackson Street bridge will close at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5 and will remain closed until completion in August of 2016. The Chestnut Street bridge will close at 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 6 and will remain closed until completion in June of this year.
Imhoff said contractors will be working around the clock to remove the bridges and reopen the expressway as soon as possible. As a result, residents in the area will experience some noise over the weekend.
“We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding while we complete this phase of the project, which will greatly improve traffic flow and safety in the area when completed,” Imhoff said. 
The work is taking place as part of the Lafayette Street interchange project, a two-year, $20.3-million project that includes building a new interchange at Route 50 and Lafayette Street; adding a lane in each direction on the Whitton Expressway from Monroe Street to Lafayette Street and from Lafayette to Clark Avenue; and improving six bridges along the corridor.
All work schedules are subject to change due to weather conditions.
More information about this project, including traffic impact summaries and weekly construction updates, can be found at www.modot.org/central/major_projects/LafayetteInterchange.htm.
Motorists can also call 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636) or visit MoDOT’s Central District on Facebook (facebook.com/MoDOTCentralMissouriDistrict) or Twitter (@MoDOT_Central) for additional details.
(Courtesy of MoDOT)