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Frustrations Mount as I-44 Shutdown Continues Into the Night

JEROME, Mo. -- Several miles of I-44 remain closed as we head into the night. It was a day full of frustrations for drivers heading into the flooded areas.
We don’t know for certain when flooded roadways will reopen or what additional flooding might occur.
JEROME, Mo. -- Several miles of I-44 remain closed as we head into the night. It was a day full of frustrations for drivers heading into the flooded areas.

See reports from both Laurie Patton and Lindsay Clein above

The high waters closed I-44 at mile marker 172 near the city of Jerome to mile marker 186. Traffic backups are now occurring near Rolla, Mo., as traffic detours to two-lane highways.

Drivers and commercial motor carriers traveling eastbound on I-44 are still being asked to exit at mile marker 69 and take Route 360 to Route 60 at Springfield to Route 63 at Cabool to get back on to I-44 at Rolla. Travelers westbound on I-44 should take Route 63 at Rolla to Route 60 at Cabool to Route 360 to get back on to I-44 west of Springfield.

"I'm moving to D.C. to start my grad program at Georgetown University from Springfield, Missouri," said Robert Jones, heading east Wednesday. He sat in traffic for hours Thursday.

Major routes that can serve as alternates include Interstate 70, U.S. 50 and U.S. 60.

U.S. 63 is also closed in both directions, south of Vienna in Maries County and at Westphalia in Osage County.

Drivers traveling on Route 63 to destinations south of Vienna should take U.S. 50 to Route 28 to U.S. 63. Those traveling to areas north of Vienna should use Routes U and E to get around the closure.

MoDOT expects I-44 and U.S. 63 to remain closed for more than six hours. When the water recedes, MoDOT will inspect pavement and bridges for safety before opening highways for public use.

“We don’t know for certain when flooded roadways will reopen or what additional flooding might occur,” said Travis Koestner, assistant district engineer of MoDOT’s Central District. “We appreciate motorists' patience as we monitor these roadways and ask motorists not to drive around barricades or attempt to drive through water.”

When the water recedes, MoDOT will inspect pavement and bridges for safety before opening highways for public use.

Visit http://www.modot.org/ to find the MoDOT Traveler Information Map and information on obtaining the free smartphone app or call 1-888-ASK MoDOT (888-275-6636) for up-to-date information.

MoDOT on Twitter

MoDOT Southwest on Twitter

Photos courtesy: 
http://fox2now.com

Video courtesy: KMOV.com

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