A stretch of Highway 47 at Hopewell Hill will be closed beginning this Friday.

MoDOT officials said the temporary closure was slated to begin at 7 a.m. on July 18, weather permitting, and last for up to 18 days.

Crews have been working since April to realign a curvy stretch of the highway, located between Warrenton and Marthasville.

The $2.345 million project consists of eliminating two sharp S curves and constructing 11-foot driving lanes with 4-foot shoulders along the new three-fourth of a mile section. The pavement will be widened to 3 1/2 feet on the inside of the curves and the 12 existing curves have been softened into three curves.

Edge line rumble stripes will be added to increase safety, MoDOT officials added.

The project is about two weeks ahead of schedule. The original project time line had the road closure beginning July 29.

The tentative schedule calls for the realignment project to be completed on Aug. 16.

During the temporary road closure, traffic will be detoured on Routes O and M. Message boards will be in place along Interstate 70 near Warrenton and at the Missouri River bridge near Washington advising motorists and all commercial vehicles to use other routes during the road closures.

Residents living in Aspenhof and Coventry subdivisions will have access from Highway 47 at the south section of the project, MoDOT officials said.

MoDOT officials said they appreciate drivers’ patience while crews improve and maintain the transportation system.

The project to straighten the stretch of Highway 47 has been years in the making. Drivers often complain about wide 18-wheel tractor trailers taking up both their own lane and part of the opposite lane as they negotiate the hilly, winding highway. A number of serious and fatal accidents have also occurred through the years at Hopewell Hill.