State transportation officials have unveiled their preferred alternative for Columbia’s heavily-congested I-70 and Highway 63 interchange.
The proposed plan is called a SPUI, which is a single point urban interchange. Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) project director Brandi Baldwin says the preferred alternative includes two key flyovers.
“One takes northbound 63 to westbound I-70 and the other takes eastbound I-70 to southbound 63. So those two flyover ramps remove about 17 percent of the traffic out of the connector, and we believe that is going to really improve the connector’s performance,” Baldwin says.
MoDOT says 160,000 vehicles go through the 70/63 interchange each day, making it mid-Missouri’s busiest interchange.
“So really it reduces the lights, we add some lanes through there. And a good example of where that is is in (northeast Missouri’s) Hannibal. If anybody visits Hannibal where 36 and 61 cross, there’s a SPUI there as well,” says Baldwin.
Baldwin tells 939 the Eagle that MoDOT plans to break ground on the project by the end of 2024. MoDOT has the funding for the $140-million project. Columbia-area residents packed the ARC Wednesday evening to view updated maps and to speak with MoDOT representatives.