press release from MoDOT
Range Line Road will be closed at Interstate 44 for much of the weekend of July 20-21, starting mid-morning Saturday, for extensive work as part of an interchange reconstruction project, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
The ramps connecting Range Line Road and I-44 (Mile Marker 8) also will be closed at various times between 9 a.m. Thursday, July 18, and some time Sunday, July 21, as the work progresses through the weekend.
Contractor crews have many tasks to perform during the closings -- pave ramps, build islands, install signs, apply new pavement markings and set up new traffic signals.
When Range Line Road is reopened to traffic late Sunday or early Monday (6 a.m. at the latest), it will be in its new Diverging Diamond Interchange configuration, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
You Can Still Reach Your Destination
Despite the closings over the weekend, drivers will be able to reach businesses on Range Line Road on either side of I-44, although it will take a few minutes longer than usual to arrive there.
Many alternate routes are available -- nearby interchanges along I-44 and the extensive network of city streets and state business routes in the city of Joplin.
How a Diverging Diamond Interchange Works
The Diverging Diamond Interchange design on Range Line Road will make it easier and safer for traffic to turn onto the I-44 on-ramps and will help through-traffic flow more steadily along Range Line Road:
* Traffic on Range Line Road will be shifted to the left-hand side of the road at traffic signals on either side of I-44.
* Drivers on Range Line Road turning onto I-44 will have a "free left" turn because they will not have to wait for a green arrow or yield to oncoming traffic.
* Drivers going straight through on Range Line Road will be able to proceed smoothly without having to wait for cars turning left onto I-44.
* Drivers who stay on Range Line Road will return to the right-hand side of the road at the new traffic signal on the other side of I-44.
* Signs, pavement markings and raised concrete islands at the criss-cross points on Range Line Road will guide drivers through the traffic signal to the left-hand side before reaching I-44. A concrete wall down the middle of Range Line Road will separate northbound and southbound traffic.
Interchange in Motion
View an animation showing how the Diverging Diamond Interchange will work at I-44 and Range Line Road.
The project includes replacing the 1960s-era I-44 bridges over Range Line Road.
Outdated cloverleaf ramps are being eliminated in favor of straight, directional ramps. This eliminates conflicts for traffic speeding up to enter I-44 and slowing down to exit I-44 at the same point.
The I-44 on-ramps are being lengthened to give drivers entering I-44 more distance to merge into traffic.
Additional turn lanes are being added at the bottom of the two I-44 off-ramps:
* The off-ramp from westbound I-44-to-northbound Range Line Road will have two right-turn lanes.
* The off-ramp from eastbound I-44-to-northbound Range Line Road will have two left-turn lanes.
Prime contractor -- Emery Sapp & Sons, Columbia
Construction cost -- $8 million
Completion -- December 2013