Missouri is on the verge of breaking ground on a historic infrastructure project.

A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for Thursday in Columbia on the first part of Missouri’s construction to widen Interstate 70 to six total lanes statewide. The celebration will be Thursday, but construction does not begin until next month.

Linda Moen, president of EFK Moen, an engineering firm in St. Louis County, said part of the first phase includes making improvements to I-70’s interchange with US Highway 63.

“Millstone Weber-Jacobs has won this project and we’re one of their (subcontractors) working on it,” Moen told Missourinet. “We’ve been out there doing some surveying, and construction work is getting all put together to start soon so the groundbreaking will be alerting the public that this is really going to happen.”

The revamped 70/63 interchange will include flyover ramps and round-abouts. Moen’s company’s work is part of Phase one.

“The project we’re working on will start on the east side of Colombia and it’ll go all the way to Kingdom City,” she said. “There’s some exciting interchange work going on with the US 63 connector. This groundbreaking is going to kind of kick that work off and alert everyone what’s going to happen in Colombia.”

Phase One of the Improve I-70 project is expected to last about three years, which means it will overlap with Mizzou’s football season this year and next, and possibly 2026 as well. But Moen doesn’t expect there to be any major traffic tie-ups from the work.

“Some of the ramps will be left in place until the new ramps are accessible. So, football traffic should flow through there just fine,” she said. “We have the map hanging up in our office right now and all of our Mizzou people are looking at it every day, trying to plan their routes and figure out how they’ll get where they need to go, and there’s plenty of access that will be open.”

The entire expansion is scheduled to be completed in about five years, weather pending.

Nearly a year ago, Gov. Mike Parson signed a state budget into law that included $2.8 billion to expand I-70 to six lanes across Missouri, from Blue Springs to Wentzville. Parson is scheduled to speak at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony.

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