|Reconstruction of the interchange at Interstate 44 and Range Line Road in Joplin (Mile Marker 8) begins the week of August 13, 2012, with completion scheduled by the end of 2013, the Missouri Department of Transportation said. The prime contractor is Emery Sapp and Sons, Columbia. The construction cost: $8 million. Speeding in the work zone when workers are present will add $250 to the total fine for drivers who are ticketed. Signs will be posted with that warning.
The I-44 bridges over Range Line Road will be replaced and cloverleaf ramps will be eliminated in favor of straight, directional ramps.
Range Line Road will be converted to a Diverging Diamond Interchange design, with traffic crossing to the left-hand side of the road at new traffic signals on either side of I-44.
During construction, all lanes of traffic on I-44 and Range Line Road will remain open during daytime hours. However, one lane will be closed in one or both directions on I-44 at various times at night -- 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Lane closings on Range Line Road also will take place only at night -- 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. The lanes on I-44 will be narrowed to 10 feet wide and shifted, with the speed limit reduced to 60 mph in the work zone. The speed limit on Range Line Road will be reduced to 35 mph. Lanes on Range Line Road will be narrowed to 10 feet wide. Temporary traffic signals will be installed on Range Line Road, with new permanent traffic signals put in place by the end of the project. Ramps entering or exiting I-44 may have to be closed for short periods at various times.
Diverging Diamond Interchange
The conversion of Range Line Road to a 'Diverging Diamond Interchange' design will make driving safer and easier for drivers on Range Line Road with:
- traffic on Range Line Road shifted to the left-hand side of the road at new traffic signals on either side of I-44;
- Range Line Road traffic turning left onto I-44 getting a "free left," meaning drivers will already be on the left-hand side of the road and will NOT have to turn left in front of oncoming traffic;
- through traffic on Range Line Road returning to right-hand side of road at a new traffic signal after traveling underneath I-44;
- new traffic signals, signs, pavement markings and concrete islands to guide drivers along Range Line Road, whether turning onto I-44 or going straight through the interchange;
- two concrete walls separating northbound and southbound Range Line Road traffic and a pedestrian walkway built in between the walls;
- two ramps widened and because of heavy traffic from I-44 onto northbound Range Line Road, additional turn lanes will be added at the bottom of two off-ramps: (1) Off-ramp from westbound I-44-to-northbound Range Line Road will have two right-turn lanes and (2) Off-ramp from eastbound I-44-to-northbound Range Line Road will have two left-turn lanes.
Drivers are asked to give their opinion about the I-44/Range Line Road work zone through the "Rate Our Work Zone" feature on the MoDOT web site here.