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Millstone Weber Selected for the First Improve I-70 Project

JEFFERSON CITY, MO — 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 the Missouri Department of Transportation's (MoDOT) Improve I-70 Program. Negotiations to finalize the contract are currently in progress. Improve I-70: Columbia to Kingdom City will build a third lane in each direction and improve the 20-mile 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 that will widen and improve the I-70 corridor.

Missouri’s fiscal year 2024 budget from the General Assembly, signed into law by Governor Mike 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 miles of I-70, from Blue Springs to Wentzville.

“Contractor selection marks the beginning of this generational opportunity to improve I-70, which serves as a critical economic east-west corridor across Missouri,” MHTC Chairman Terry Ecker said. “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-mile 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) and four new roundabouts. The U.S. 54 and I-70 interchange proposal includes two new bridges and a new and improved interchange.

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“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 December 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

MoDOT plans to host additional public information meetings in central Missouri in spring 2024 ahead of construction, where project plans and traffic control details for project No. 1 will be shared. Construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2024, with an anticipated completion in late 2027.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is comprised of over 5,000 individuals, with seven districts and three regional offices, 22 divisions, and at least one maintenance shed in every county. MoDOT is responsible for the state's 4,800 miles of railroad tracks, 1,379 miles of interstates, 125 public-use airports, and 15 public ports.

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