Preliminary Work Begins On Massive I-35, Highway 152 Project
Prelimnary work has begun on the massive I-35 - Highway 152 project.
Although work will officially begin in May, preparations have already begun with overnight and weekend lane closures. Led by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), the project will be one of the Northland’s biggest road efforts this year. It will also have a significant traffic impact as drivers seek to find alternative routes for one of the region’s busiest interchanges.
While the initial preparation involves placement of concrete barriers and traffic control signs, the project includes total demolition of the current bridge over I-35 this summer. The span will then be replaced with a new, eight-lane bridge and a unique, three-lane secondary bridge to handle certain turning movements. The bottom line is 11 lanes compared to the current eight.
The routing will also feature a “half diverging diamond interchange” which is intended to allow for better turning movement in the heavily traveled area. Other work will take place along Liberty’s Kansas Avenue to the east, including major work at all intersections up to and including Highway 291.
Timing is a major issue that MoDOT has attempted to control as much as possible. Officials want to have the bridge completed around the time school starts in the fall. In order to ensure that, extensive financial penalties will be enforced, although construction remains dependent on weather. Plans call for the project to be complete by late summer 2020.
During the construction, eastbound traffic on Missouri 152 will detour south on I-35 to the U.S. 69/Vivion Road exit, then travel back north on I-35 to the Missouri 152 exit. Eastbound Missouri 152 traffic west of Interstate 435 will detour north on I-435 to Missouri 291, then south to Kansas Street. Westbound Kansas Street/Missouri 152 traffic in the immediate area will detour north on I-35 to Missouri 291 and then back south on I-35 to the Missouri 152 exit. Traffic on, or east of, Missouri 291 will detour north on Missouri 291 and then south on I-35 to the Missouri 152 exit.