MoDOT to redesign section of 179

MoDOT plans to reconfigure a section of Missouri 179 in an attempt to reduce the number of rear-end and left-turn crashes.

Work is scheduled to begin March 24 on the section of 179 between West Truman Boulevard/Industrial Drive and Merchants Drive in Jefferson City.

When the work is completed, one of the southbound driving lanes on 179 will become a two-way center-turn lane.

MoDOT officials said the new, two-way center-turn lane will allow for safer and easier access to Gerbes, Jefferson Bank, Sonic Drive-In, Plaza Drive and Merchants Drive, among other locations.

Northbound 179 will remain two lanes from Merchants Drive to West Truman Boulevard/Industrial Drive, and the traffic flow will remain the same.

The work will also change the southbound approach to the signalized intersection at West Truman Boulevard and Industrial Drive. The two through lanes will be converted to one through lane and one dedicated right-turn lane. The dedicated left-turn lane will be modified to create a two-way center turn lane for access to West Main Street from either direction on Mo. 179.

Diagrams showing both the old and new layouts can be found on MoDOT’s Central District website at www.modot.org/central.

“Reconfiguring the southbound lanes on 179 will reduce the potential for rear-end and left-turn crashes caused when northbound and southbound vehicles attempt to make a left turn and must stop in one of the through lanes to wait for a gap in oncoming traffic,” said Jason Sommerer, MoDOT senior traffic studies specialist. “The new, two-way left turn lane will allow drivers to wait safely in a designated turn lane.”

Over the past several years, numerous rear-end and left-turn crashes have occurred at this location. Sommerer said MoDOT expects to reduce many of these crashes with the planned improvements for 179.

Weather permitting, work will begin at 6:30 p.m. on March 24 and is planned to last one to two nights, with single-lane closures throughout the evening hours. Message boards will be placed in both directions on 179 one week before the work to announce the traffic pattern changes.

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