Joplin, Newton County -- Drivers traveling Interstate 44 at Range Line Road (Bus. Loop 49) in Joplin will find new traffic shifts beginning the early morning hours of Thursday, June 6, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
The changes are the next phase in a project to rebuild the interchange, with completion by the end of 2013.
Here's what will happen:
* Eastbound I-44 traffic will be shifted to the new eastbound bridge over Range Line Road.
* Westbound I-44 traffic will be shifted to the new median bridge over Range Line Road. The speed limit in the traffic shift will be 55 mph.
* Demolition work will begin on the existing westbound I-44 bridge over Range Line Road so that it can be replaced with a new bridge for westbound traffic.
Traffic impacts expected prior to the traffic shift:
* Beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, crews will close one lane in each direction on I-44 at Range Line Road.
* With the lane closings, crews will re-stripe the pavement in preparation for the traffic shift.
* Expect lane closings, shifted lanes, slowdowns and workers and equipment near traffic during the transition.
* By 6 a.m. Thursday, June 6, all I-44 traffic will be in the new traffic pattern.
Bad weather and/or construction delays will postpone the traffic shift.
After the traffic shift:
* While all lanes of I-44 will remain open during daytime hours, drivers can continue to expect lane closings at night on I-44 and on Range Line Road during construction.
* All lanes on I-44 will remain reduced to 10 feet wide during construction.
* I-44 speed limit remains reduced to 60 mph in the work zone.
* Range Line Road speed limit is reduced to 35 mph and lanes narrowed to 10 feet wide.
* Speeding in work zone when workers are present will add $250 to the total fine for drivers who are ticketed. Signs are posted with that warning.
* New bridges on I-44 over Range Line Road
* Convert Range Line Road underneath I-44 to Diverging Diamond Interchange
* New traffic signals on Range Line Road at I-44 ramps.
* Prime contractor: Emery Sapp & Sons of Columbia.
* Construction cost: $8 million.
* Completion: End of 2013.