Route 61 near I-55 closed for center junction project

Route 61 near I-55 closed next week for center junction project

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - One of our region’s biggest road construction projects reached a major milestone, one that could impact your plans.

“Make sure if you’ve gotta be somewhere on time to leave plenty early," said Brian Okenfuss, a MoDOT Area Engineer.

Okenfuss gives that advice because of the impact the next big step will have in the major project at Center Junction between Cape Girardeau and Jackson. On April 20-21, crews will shut down Route 61 at the I-55 interchange from 8:30 p.m. until 6 a.m.

“If you’re coming from Jackson heading towards Cape, if you get to the interchange, you will be required to turn south on I-55. If you’re coming from Cape and you’re going to Jackson the best bet would be to make a decision at the Mount Auburn and Lexington signal. If you’re trying to get to Jackson, your best bet would be to take Route W up to Lasalle Avenue," said Okenfuss.

An estimated 23,000 drivers use this intersection on a given day. Okenfuss said he hopes people put down their phones and pay attention to all the changes.

“We’ve got a lot of workers that are working very closely to the road. They’re focused on the work that they’re doing and not necessarily on where traffic is at that moment," he said.

So, he wants drivers to obey the signs near the construction site.

“We have had some issues with some folks making left turns in situations where those movements have been prohibited. We understand it’s an inconvenience if you can’t make the movement you want. It might increase your travel time, but those movements are restricted for a reason," he said.

The goal remains the same, to keep drivers and crews safe.

The entire project is expected to take two years to complete.

You can find more information about closures and detours on MODOT’s website.

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