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(LISTEN): Parson, Boatwright to speak at Thursday’s Missouri I-70 groundbreaking ceremony in Columbia

(LISTEN): Parson, Boatwright to speak at Thursday’s Missouri I-70 groundbreaking ceremony in Columbia

Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission chairman W. Dustin Boatwright is from southeast Missouri’s Cape Girardeau (photo courtesy of the MoDOT website)

Missouri’s governor, state lawmakers in both parties and other dignitaries will be attending Thursday morning’s groundbreaking ceremony for the $405-million I-70 project between Columbia and Kingdom City.

Governor Mike Parson (R), Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission chairman W. Dustin Boatwright of Cape Girardeau and other MoDOT officials will speak at tomorrow’s 10 am ceremony in the Drury Plaza hotel parking lot, near the I-70 and Highway 63 connector.

Meantime, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) wants to take as much traffic off Columbia’s busy I-70 and Highway 63 connector as they can, with the massive new I-70 project that begins after the Fourth of July. MoDOT says 160,000 vehicles go through the I-70 and Highway 63 interchange daily, making it mid-Missouri’s busiest interchange. MoDOT project director Jeff Gander also tells 939 the Eagle that they’ll build everything they can off-line to limit the impact on traffic:


“Before we actually close the connector bridge, we’re going to have both direct connects open and all four roundabouts as well, trying to take as much traffic off of that bridge as we can before we ever tear it down to rebuild it,” Mr. Gander says.

It’s unclear when that bridge will be torn down. Gander tells 939 the Eagle that the  Columbia to Kingdom City project will begin after the Fourth of July. He expects it to begin on I-70 east of Columbia near Routes M and J.

Missouri’s massive $2.8 billion I-70 project is the largest public works project in state history.