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3 Nights Of I-44 Shut Down Begins Tuesday

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GRAY SUMMIT, MO (KTVI) - The Missouri Department of Transportation urges drivers to be safe and take things slow after they shut down part of Interstate 44 in Gray Summit, Missouri.  MoDOT scheduled a complete shutdown of the highway for Tuesday night at 9.  Engineer Judy Wagner said the Route 100 - Old Route 66 Bridge is costing a bundle in repairs.  

"Well tonight,' she explained.  'We're going to start removing the bridge over I-44."

Contractors had three nights to get the demolition done.

"Well, Fred Weber has assured me,' she smiled.  'That we have our three best operators on the job."

Wagner urged drivers to leave for work or home extremely early.

"That detour is about 20 miles long,' she pointed out.  "And if they can completely avoid the area, that's the best choice to make tonight, tomorrow night and Thursday night."

She expected the bridge to be finally rebuilt by mid August.

"But in the future once the bridge is removed,' Wagner explained.  'They'll be able to use I-44 as their detour."

Wagner also said she does tend to think a lot about safety -- not just on the big interstate during this project -- but also on the smaller detour routes.

"Two lanes, one lane in each direction, very narrow, wind-y,' she warned.  'No shoulders on the majority of the detours."

Leaving early can be a lifesaver.

Here is the schedule:
6 p.m. Tuesday May 15, 2012: The Route 100 - Old Route 66 Bridge closes until mid-August

9 p.m. - 5 a.m. Tuesday May 15, Wednesday May 16 and Thursday May 17, 2012:  All lanes, in both directions, of Interstate 44 will close.

Here are your alternate routes:
Eastbound 44:
1.    Detour to Route O
2.    Then to Route F
3.    The West Osage Street to access the interstate     
Westbound 44:
1.    Route 100 in Gray Summit
2.    Then to Route MM
3.    Then to Route 5
4.    Then to Route 100 to access the interstate

Afterwards, Mo-DOT may occasionally close a lane on Interstate 44 during construction of the new bridge.

"Because, there is not any room for forgiveness on these roads.'

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