The general contractor on the next phase of the Highway 100 widening project has the green light to start work.

Judy Wagner, MoDOT area engineer, said this week that Millstone Bangert Inc. was given a notice to proceed April 8.

“If the weather breaks, they could start sooner,” Wagner said Monday at the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee meeting.

Millstone Bangert was the contractor on the project to widen Highway 100 from Washington to Interstate 44.

This next phase involves widening the highway to four lanes from Highway 47 west to a point about 800 feet west of High Street. Two new westbound lanes will be constructed to the north of the existing lanes.

Millstone Bangert was awarded the 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.

The contract calls for the project to be completed by Sept. 20, 2013.

While the final cost will be higher than the contracted price due to an anticipated change involving utilities, the project still is expected to come in well under budget, Wagner said.

The city and MoDOT have a cost-sharing agreement to fund the improvements similar to the one used to construct the widening to the east.

MoDOT has settled with the final property owner over right of way acquired for the eastern phase, Wagner said.

There was a “considerable” amount of savings on that phase which resulted in close to $3 million being transferred to the current project west of Highway 47, Wagner said. In addition to that, the city received close to a $1 million federal grant to improve the Highway 100/Route A intersection which also will go to reducing the cost of the new widening project.

City and state officials have proposed taking any savings on this next phase and applying them to a future widening of Route 100 from High Street west to Pottery Road.

The city is funding its share of the 50-50 project out of the half-cent transportation sales tax approved by voters six years ago.

The plan is to widen Highway 100 from two to five lanes  — four traffic lanes and one center turn lane — add dual left turn lanes on Route A/Jefferson Street and add pedestrian facilities and signalized intersections that comply with federal ADA standards. The new lanes will be concrete.