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LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Transportation plans to begin a long-term construction project that will impact thousands of Lee’s Summit drivers for months.

The project will be completed in three phases with the first phase beginning Monday, March 28.

That’s when MoDOT crews will begin closing on and off ramps as they work to replace U.S 50 Highway bridges over Chipman Road.

On Monday, the off ramp from westbound U.S. 50 Highway to Chipman will close around 6 a.m. It won’t reopen until around 6 p.m. on Friday, April 1.

On Wednesday, crews will close the on ramp from Chipman Road to westbound U.S. 50 Highway. The closure will begin around 6 a.m. and will stay closed until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5.

Beginning at 6 a.m. on April 6 crews will close the on ramp from Chipman Road to eastbound U.S. 50 Highway. The closure will be in place until 6 p.m. April 12.

The final off ramp will close Wednesday, April 13. It will impact the off ramp from eastbound U.S. 50 Highway to Chipman Road.

Then on April 18 all of the above ramps will be closed again so crews can prepare them to handle traffic that is diverted when 50 Highway is closed.

The projects second phase is expected to begin in mid to late April. That’s when crews will close U.S. 50 Highway over Chipman Road.

Drivers will be allowed to turn right onto Chipman Road from both eastbound and westbound U.S. 50 Highway, but left turns will not be allowed.

Both eastbound and the ramp from eastbound Interstate 470 to eastbound U.S. 50 highway till be reduced to one lane during the highway bridge replacement.

Eastbound U.S. 50 and the ramp from eastbound I-470 to eastbound U.S. 50 will also be reduced to one lane each for merging purposes during the project. Expect to see most impacts during the evening rush hour.

The project will also impact Chipman Road beginning April 18.

Chipman Road between Murray Road and Blue Parkway will closed until late July. MoDOT says there will be marked detours in place to help drivers get around the closures.

Once the bridges are complete, the project will move in to Phase 3 will include roadway resurfacing and ADA improvements on Chipman Rd.

In addition to the new bridges, sidewalks will be provided on both sides of Chipman Rd. through the interchange.

Drivers react

Chelsea Fosgate saw the warning signs and was prepared Monday to take a different route to work. She admits it was somewhat of a nuisance. 

“I went through downtown Lee’s Summit and kind of avoided that exit,” Fosgate said. “The way I went around can be a little crowded at times. There are more stoplights and things like that. and obviously getting off the highway. So, a little bit, but not too bad.”

Fosgate works nearby at the Made in KC Store. Although the closure now affects her route to work, she doesn’t believe it will deter people from shopping and doing business in the area. 

“I think, generally, people know our store and like our store. So hopefully it won’t hinder people too much from coming to see us,” Fosgate said.

Devin Webber lives nearby and is new to the area. He uses 50 Highway every day to get to work.

“I don’t know a lot about the area. So if I’m not able to get on the ones I’m used to, it’s going to cost me a lot of time and I’ll probably get lost because of it,” Webber said.

“We’ve done the little fixes along the way, and we’ve tried to extend the life of the bridge, but it’s just to the point where the entire structure, instead of just the driving surface, needs a full replacement,” MoDOT Engineer Ericka Ross said. 

Engineers had a choice to either replace the bridge in pieces or do it all at once. They decided to do it all at once in half the time, which will be about five months. 

“Whatever is quickest and easiest will be better for me,” Webber said.

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