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This year is shaping up to be a busy year for road work on state highways in the Ozarks and that makes driving safely in work zones extremely important for drivers as well as for highway workers, the Missouri Department of Transportation said.
While Work Zone Awareness Week is set for April 4-8, the need to pay special attention to orange signs, cones and electronic message boards will last the entire year.
Road work is scheduled in many locations — from metro Springfield, to the suburbs close to Springfield, to many smaller communities and rural areas throughout the region.
For example, drivers will see major construction projects continuing at the 60/65 interchange and along Route 65 in Springfield, on Route 5 north of Lebanon and on Route 76/Business 65 at the Lake Taneycomo bridge between Branson and Hollister.
Other large projects will require work zones on Route 13 between Kimberling City and Branson West, on Route 174 in the Republic area and on Route 123 at the bridge over Stockton Lake near Aldrich.
Bridge projects are scheduled in 31 locations and more than 30 resurfacing projects and nearly 20 chip-seal projects are planned across the map.
Watch MoDOT’s Springfield region web site for updates: www.modot.org/springfield.
Slow Down in Work Zones
Drivers are being asked to slow down, expect the unexpected and pay close attention when traveling through work zones to avoid hurting themselves and their families
Driving carefully in work zones will enable MoDOT workers and contractor employees — all of whom make a living by doing road work — get home safely to their families.
Here are additional safe driving tips:
* Use seat belts and proper child restraints.
* Avoid distractions, such as talking and texting on a cell phone.
* Anticipate tight situations that you may notice developing ahead of you and be ready to take safe evasive action.
* Think ahead about the route you will be driving and have alternate routes in mind before you leave home.
* Think ahead about how your trip will be impacted by bad weather, heavy traffic and the nature of the roads you will be using, including hills, curves, intersections.
* If you drink alcohol, don’t drive. Stay where you are or ride with a sober driver.
Work in Every County
Here are some of the major projects set for the 2011 construction season in the Springfield region, which covers 12 counties:
* Christian County — Replacing bridge on Route 125 at Linden and resurfacing Christian County Route M south of Nixa.
* Dallas County — Resurfacing of Route 38 west of Route 65 south of Buffalo and Dallas County Route M near Charity and replacing the Dousinbry Creek bridge on Dallas County Route JJ west of Long Lane.
* Douglas County — Replacing six bridges, including Route 14 at Cowskin Creek west of Ava and Route 76 at Red Bank Creek near Vanzant.
* Greene County — Widening Campbell Avenue to six lanes between South Avenue and a point north of Plainview Road south of Springfield and continuing the 60/65 interchange reconstruction.
* Hickory County — Pavement sealing of Route 83 between Route 54 and the Benton/Hickory county line north of Wheatland and replacing the Cook Branch bridge on Hickory County Route H near Elkton.
* Laclede County — Widening of Route 5 north of Lebanon and rehabilitating the westbound I-44 bridge over the Gasconade River east of Lebanon.
* Ozark County — Replacing the Route 95 bridge over Little North Fork River at Thornfield and resurfacing Route 160 between Gainesville and Tecumseh.
* Polk County — Rehabilitating the Route 123 bridge over Stockton Lake south of Aldrich and resurfacing Route 32 between Bolivar and the Polk-Dallas county line east of Halfway.
* Stone County — Widening and relocating Route 13 between Kimberling City and Branson West and replacing the Route 248 bridge over Dry Creek west of Galena.
* Taney County — Widening the Route 248 bridge over Route 65 and converting to a Diverging Diamond Interchange in Branson and continuing the rehabilitation of the historic Lake Taneycomo bridge carrying Route 76/Business 65 between Branson and Hollister.
* Webster County — Replacing the Panther Creek bridge on Webster County Route KK south of Marshfield and resurfacing Route 38 between Marshfield and Webster County Route E west of Marshfield.
* Wright County — Replacing the Little Creek bridge on Route 38 west of Hartville and resurfacing Route 95 between Route 60 and Route 38 north of Mountain Grove.
For Quick Information
Find information on road work throughout Missouri, check www. modot.org statewide.
To get more information about road work in the Springfield region, see www.modot.org/springfield.
You can also follow MoDOT/Springfield region on Facebook and Twitter where traffic alerts and road information updates are posted.