New Lanes Opened

The new westbound Highway 100 lanes were opened to traffic Monday as work crews were completing temporary striping along the project, which extends from Highway 47 to a point west of High Street. While some final work items will be done next spring, the widening project is essentially completed. City, county and state officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday morning to mark the official opening of the new lanes.    

The Missouri Department of Transportation will not accept the Highway 100 widening project until all construction issues, including asphalt paving, have been addressed, a MoDOT official said this week.

Crews began applying temporary lane striping and activating traffic signals Monday as the highway was switched over from two to five lanes of traffic.

The official opening of the new westbound lanes came after city, county and state officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday morning.

Judy Wagner, MoDOT area engineer, said the state agency is working with the contractor on some quality issues, mainly related to asphalt paving to match the existing lanes with the new westbound concrete lanes on the north side.

Complaints about the quality of asphalt work in places were voiced earlier Monday by members of the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee.

“The weather has inhibited the quality of work,” Wagner acknowledged during the committee’s regular meeting. But she assured members that the state and city will not pay for the project until all deficiencies are corrected.

“Give us time. We’re not finished yet,” Wagner said. “We will make sure that a quality project is accepted.

“We won’t buy the job until everyone is satisfied,” she remarked.

Wagner noted that some of the final work, including final grading and seeding along with some asphalt repairs and replacement, won’t be finished until next spring due to the onset of winter weather.

Because the city is paying half the cost to extend the four-lane highway from Highway 47 to High Street, city officials will be part of the process in seeing that everyone is satisfied with the final work, Wagner said.

The immediate goal this week was to get the temporary lane striping down for safety purposes and to get the new lanes opened, Wagner said.

Work crews will come back in the spring to apply permanent lane markings, she said.

Work on the widening project started last spring and the original contract date for completion was in September.

However, MoDOT extended that date due to some design changes made to reduce the overall cost, utility relocations and other issues.

This is the third phase of the Highway 100 widening project which began after Washington voters approved a half-cent transportation sales tax to finance the city’s share of the project under a cost-sharing agreement with MoDOT.

Earlier phases included extending four lanes to the east city limits, then beyond to Interstate 44.

Millstone Bangert Inc., the contractor on the current phase, also was the general contractor on the Washington to I-44 widening project.

Millstone Bangert was awarded the current contract on a bid of $6,233,489.97, which is considerably lower than the construction estimate of $7,345,000 programmed in MoDOT’s five-year state transportation plan for the project.

That amount does not include the cost of engineering and right of way acquisition.

Wagner told the committee Monday that the final cost will not exceed the amount originally budgeted for the project.