A groundbreaking ceremony was held today to celebrate the start of construction for the Improve I-70 project, which will widen the interstate to at least three lanes each in both directions from the St. Louis to Kansas City regions.

Construction on the $2.8 billion Improve I-70 Program is set to begin in July. The first phase of the project begins in mid-Missouri, with the interchanges of U.S. Route 63 in Columbia and U.S. Route 54 in Kingdom City.

Gov. Mike Parson was on hand to commemorate the occasion. One of his top priorities throughout his tenure has been to improve Missouri’s infrastructure system.

“What we’re doing in infrastructure in this state is going to set us apart from many, many other states and it’s just, for the future of our state, I can’t even explain how much of an impact it’s going to have. But it’s fun. It’s exciting to finish up your term on a high note like this,” he told reporters.

Parson makes clear, he doesn’t want delays.

“I don’t want to hear no overruns,” he stated. “You bid this project. You better be satisfied with what you got, and you better get it done. You can see they’re talking about going 24-hours a day to get it done. I believe we will come under budget, at the end of the day, because I think we’re going to push so hard to get things done, but I think everybody realizes how big an impact this is, about how time sensitive it is, and to stay under budget.”

Parson expects the entire project to be finished within 7-10 years.

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