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MHTC Selects Contractor for First Improve I-70 Project in Missouri

Wed February 28, 2024 - Midwest Edition #5
Missouri Department of Transportation

Missouri Department of Transportation logo

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MHTC) has selected Millstone Weber as the apparent best-value proposer and design-build contractor of the first project in MoDOT's Improve I-70 Program.

Improve I-70: Columbia to Kingdom City will build a third lane in each direction and improve the 20-mi. stretch of Interstate 70 between U.S. 63 in Columbia and U.S. 54 in Kingdom City beginning in summer 2024. This $405 million project is the first of several projects which will widen and improve the I-70 corridor.

Missouri's FY2024 budget from the General Assembly signed into law by Gov. Parson provides $2.8 billion in general revenue for the costs to build a third lane of I-70 across the state. The program will plan, design, construct, reconstruct, rehabilitate and add a third lane in each direction on nearly 200 mi. of I-70, from Blue Springs to Wentzville.

"Today's contractor selection marks the beginning of this generational opportunity to improve I-70, which serves as a critical economic east-west corridor across Missouri," said Terry Ecker, MHTC chairman. "This is a major challenge to deliver, but our MoDOT team working alongside the private sector partners in engineering and construction will deliver."

The selected team, including contractor Millstone Weber and designer Jacobs, competed against one other design-build team. The winning proposal showed not only an understanding of the engineering and design endeavors set out before the teams, but it also highlighted an understanding of the local, statewide and national importance of an improved I-70. The winning proposal includes new concrete pavement on all three lanes of I-70 in each direction for the 20-mi. section between Columbia and Kingdom City; wider inside and outside shoulders; and improved interchange designs at the U.S. 63 and U.S. 54 interchanges at I-70. Additionally, throughout construction two lanes of travel will be available for both directions of I-70 during peak hours.

The U.S. 63 and I-70 interchange proposal includes:

  • Two new direct connection ramps (northbound U.S. 63 to westbound I-70 and eastbound I-70 to southbound U.S. 63)
  • Four new roundabouts

The U.S. 54 and I-70 interchange proposal includes two new bridges and a new and improved interchange.

"We could not be more humbled and excited. This is a huge deal for everyone who drives this stretch of interstate and uses these interchanges. We will do everything in our power — and then some — to reward the confidence being shown in us to deliver this critical project," said Bob Leingang, vice president and chief engineer of Millstone Weber.

Design-build is a project delivery method that combines both the design and construction phases into one contract. The selected contract team completes the design and construction in parallel instead of in succession, which saves time and resources. The goals for the Columbia to Kingdom City project include:

  • Deliver the project by Dec. 31, 2027, within the program budget of $405 million.
  • Provide a third lane of travel for eastbound and westbound Interstate 70 from Columbia to Kingdom City.
  • Improve I-70/US 63 and I-70/US 54 Interchanges providing for better traffic flow and movement of freight.
  • Improve the interstate while modernizing the existing pavement and bridges.
  • Minimize construction impacts through communication and construction staging while maintaining safety and mobility.
  • Provide expanded employment opportunities to a diverse workforce.

Construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2024 with anticipated completion in late 2027.

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