As the Missouri Department of Transportation begins rebuilding eastbound ramps at the Missouri Highway 171 and Route HH interchange near Carterville this week, drivers can expect ramp and occasional lane closures.
The $1.5 million project, funded by the state, will increase the distance between ramps for drivers traveling northbound on Highway 249 and exiting eastbound to Highway 171.
The Highway 171 and Route HH interchange is close to the highways 171 and 249 interchange. Drivers currently have only 500 feet to exit from Highway 249 to the eastbound off-ramp at the Highway 171 and Route HH interchange.
“It’s particularly difficult when there’s a lot of traffic going north on 249 at highway speeds,” said David Mitchell, a spokesman for the Transportation Department. “We’re not really aware of any crashes there, but we’ve had a number of people express concern about that stretch.”
When construction is complete, the distance will be tripled to 1,500 feet, making it easier and safer for drivers to go from Highway 249 to the interchange.
“It will be more of a cloverleaf design to give more space for people to get over,” Mitchell said.
The project will require both eastbound ramps at the interchange to be closed at times. Drivers also can expect occasional lane closings on Highway 171 and on Route HH. Guardian Road will be closed for a short time at Route HH.
All work will be done during the day, and at least one lane of traffic will remain open in each direction for the duration of the project.
THE MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION predicts that the interchange construction project will be completed by Aug. 29.