I-470 and 291-Highway bridge work begins, drivers should prepare for long delays

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- MoDOT crews will begin a major project Thursday night at the Independence and Lee's Summit border.

But, before crews can begin repairing the I-470 and 291-Highway bridge between East 39th Street and the Little Blue River Bridge just south of U.S. 40, they must shut down lanes of traffic.

Beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday and continuing through 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13 the impacted stretch of highway will be reduced to one lane in each direction.

Then beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10, crews will shut down portions of north and southbound I-470/Route 291 for striping and barrier work. These closures will also last through Monday.

The outside (right) lane of both north and southbound I-470/Route 291 between East 39th Street and the Little Blue River bridge will be closed starting Monday and lasting through  early September.

MoDOT said motorists should expect that all ramps in the area to and from both I-70 and I-470/Route 291 will also be closed.

This includes:

The ramp from westbound I-70 onto southbound I-470 will be CLOSED.

Suggested detour: Take the ramp for northbound Route 291.  Take the 39th Street exit and make a U-Turn to get back onto southbound I-470.

The ramp from eastbound I-70 onto northbound I-470 will be CLOSED.

Suggested detour: Head to Blue Parkway and make a U-Turn to get back onto westbound I-70 and then take the northbound Route 291 exit.

The ramp from northbound I-470 onto westbound I-70 will be CLOSED.

Suggested detour: Use 39th Street as a U-Turn and then take the exit for westbound I-70.

The ramp from southbound I-470 onto eastbound I-470 will be CLOSED.

Suggested detour: Take the ramp for westbound I-70 to Lee’s Summit Road. Make a U-Turn to get back onto eastbound I-470.

Experts suggest avoiding the area completely if possible, but if you can't, they suggest giving yourself plenty of extra time. They expect delays to be as long as 75 minutes.