Construction ahead

Railroad Drive will be closed for up to six months while crews remove the I-44 bridges, shown, and replace them with arched culverts. (Photo by Ryan Squibb)

 Work on the I-44 Project Bridge Rebuild is scheduled to start the week of June 10 when contractor crews close Railroad Drive (County Road 1147) and Lawrence County Route H between the ramps at I-44 in Mt. Vernon, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
Contractor crews will begin work to install a large archway/ culvert under I-44 at Railroad Drive replacing the current bridges there and replace the I-44 bridges over Route H. In addition, the contractor will rehabilitate the I-44 bridges over the Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad (Mile Marker 43.2) and over Williams Creek (Mile Marker 48.4).
Railroad Drive (County Road 1147) traffic impacts:
- Railroad Drive closed under I-44 for up to six months.
- Contractor crews installing a large archway/culvert under the interstate.
- No signed detours, drivers are encouraged to find alternate routes.
- Beginning mid-July, traffic on I-44 will be shifted to the inside lanes in each direction for up to two-and-a-half months. When that work is completed, traffic will shift to the outside lanes for another two-and-a-half months.
- Route 39 to eastbound I-44 on-ramp closed for approximately five months during traffic shift.
- At the same time, contractor crews will rehabilitate the bridges over Williams Creek at Mile Marker 48.4.
- I-44 speed limit will be reduced to 60 mph through the work zone.
 Route H traffic impacts:
- Beginning the week of June 17 Route H will be closed between the ramps under I-44 for up to 45 days. All ramps remain open.
- Contractor crews will lower Route H under the interstate to increase clearance to 16.5 feet in preparation to replace the bridge over Route H.
- Route H drivers will be directed to a signed detour of:
- Northbound Route H to westbound I-44 – east on I-44 to Missouri Route 39 then back on westbound I-44.
- Southbound Route H to eastbound I-44 – west on I-44 to Missouri Route 97 then back on eastbound I-44.
- Beginning mid-July, traffic will be shifted head-to-head on I-44 so contractor crews can replace the bridge over Route H at Mile Marker 44.3 and rehabilitate the bridge over the Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad at Mile Marker 43.2.
- I-44 speed limit through the work zone will be reduced to 60 mph
- During 2019, contractor crews will work on the eastbound bridges over Route H and the MN&A railroad bridge. Work on the westbound bridges will begin in 2020.
Weather and/or unforeseen delays will alter the work schedule.
I-44 Project Bridge Rebuild will improve 19 bridges along an approximately 30-mile stretch of I-44 between Sarcoxie and Halltown.
Thirteen bridges will be replaced and six bridges will receive major rehabilitation work as part of the project.
Many of these bridges are original to the construction of I-44 in the 1960s and have deteriorated to the point where major work must be done to keep the bridges safe for travel.
Project Facts:
- Contractor: The ESS Team
- Total Project Cost: $36.1 million
-Completion Date: Dec. 15, 2021.
Anyone interested in the project, or who would like to receive regular e-updates during construction, can visit the project website – I-44 Project Bridge Rebuild.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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