WEST ALTON - A new J-turn lane is now open on U.S. 67 in West Alton, marking the latest milestone in the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Route 67 Elevation Project.

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The new lane allows southbound drivers to make a J-turn to travel northbound; another J-turn lane will be constructed in the future going the opposite direction to allow drivers from Riverlands Way to make a J-turn to travel southbound on 67.

In the original road design, drivers from Riverlands Way wishing to travel southbound on 67 had to cross over two lanes of busy northbound traffic before turning left on southbound 67. This new design will eliminate the need to cross over the highway, instead routing those drivers northbound temporarily to then merge into the leftmost lane, enter the J-turn lane and use it to turn and travel southbound. A video demonstration of a J-turn in action is available on the MoDOT website.

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The Route 67 Elevation Project aims to reduce the potential for collisions with these J-turn lanes by eliminating what MoDOT refers to as “vehicle conflict points.” The other main goal of the project is to elevate part of the southbound U.S. 67 lanes out of the floodplain to reduce the frequency of the road flooding - but according to MoDOT, the project will not eliminate flooding entirely.

“This project does not raise the entire stretch of southbound Route 67 lanes between the two rivers out of the plain. If the Missouri or Mississippi levees are over-topped, these lanes will flood,” MoDOT said on its website. “Therefore, this project will not completely eliminate flooding of the southbound Route 67 roadway between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, however, it is anticipated to reduce the frequency of flooding.”

Construction on this project began in September 2021 and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. To learn more, visit modot.org/route-67-elevation-project.

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