Route 248 Bridge over Route 65 CLOSED Weekend of Nov. 18-20
* Bridge in Branson to Close Friday Morning, Nov. 18, and Reopen Monday, Nov. 21, in Diverging Diamond Configuration *
Web site with DDI animation — http://www.modot.org/southwest/major_projects/Greene/I-44andRoute13.html
Branson, Taney County — The Route 248 bridge over Route 65 in Branson will be CLOSED at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18, and may remain closed into early Monday, Nov. 21, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
When the bridge is reopened late Sunday or by 6 a.m. Monday at the latest, the bridge will be in the new Diverging Diamond Interchange traffic pattern. That means cars will criss-cross at traffic signals at the end of the bridge and drive across the bridge on the left-hand side, allowing for smoother and safer left turns onto Route 65.
Traffic Impacts During the Bridge Closing
The ramps at the Route 248/65 interchange will remain open over the weekend. However, drivers can make only right turns from the Route 65 ramps onto Route 248 or from Route 248 onto Route 65.
Drivers will NOT be able to turn left onto or off of Route 248. No traffic will be allowed to cross the Route 248 bridge.
Drivers are urged to use the Route 65/Branson Hills Parkway interchange north of Route 248 or the Route 65/Route 76 interchange south of Route 248 to reach their destinations.
Accommodations have been made to allow emergency vehicles to travel across the bridge when responding to emergencies.
Work During the Closing
While the bridge is closed, contractor crews will install:
* Pavement markings to direct drivers through the interchange once it reopens.
* Traffic signals and lighting.
* Concrete islands that will help shift traffic into the correct lanes to drive across the bridge in the new configuration.
New Traffic Pattern When Route 248 Bridge Reopens
Under the Diverging Diamond Interchange design, the opposing lanes of Route 248 will criss-cross at traffic signals at the ends of the bridge over Route 65. Crossing the bridge, oncoming traffic will be on the right. Opposing lanes will be divided by a concrete barrier, with a pedestrian walkway in between the walls.
This configuration will provide left-turning vehicles on Route 248 a “free left” onto Route 65. At the same time, traffic continuing east or west on Route 248 will be able to travel through the interchange without being stopped due to a back up of left-turning traffic.
Signs, pavement markings and concrete islands will clearly guide drivers and help prevent making a wrong turn into the opposing lanes.
Right-angle crashes involving left-turning vehicles from Route 248 to Route 65 should be eliminated and rear-end crashes should be reduced.
Three other Diverging Diamond Interchanges are in use in Missouri: Two in Springfield at Kansas Expressway/I-44 (opened in 2008) and at National Avenue/Route 60 (opened in 2009) and one in St. Louis at Dorsett Road and I-270 (opened in 2009). Two other diverging diamond interchanges are under construction in the Kansas City area.
* Widen the Route 248 bridge by 10-feet to allow for three lanes across the bridge when the project is complete; two lanes eastbound and one lane westbound
* Repair the existing Route 248 bridge and resurface the bridge deck
* Widen the southbound ramp at the interchange to include dual right- and dual left-turn lanes from Route 65 onto Route 248
* Install new traffic signals and street lighting at the interchange
The $5 million dollar project, a partnership with the city of Branson, will convert the interchange into a diverging diamond, widen the Route 248 bridge and repair the existing bridge deck and widen the ramps leading off of and onto Route 65.
The prime contractor on the project is APAC-Missouri of Columbia, doing the work for a low bid amount of $5 million. The project is scheduled for completion by December 19, 2011.
(For more information, call MoDOT toll-free at 888.275.6636 or 417.895.7600. Or visit www.modot.org/southwest
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