ROGERSVILLE, Mo. — After years of planning, improvements to a Rogersville intersection that has one of the worst crash ratings in the district are about to begin.

“The Highway 60/Highway 125 interchange project has been under design since 2018, I believe,” said John Sanders with the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Officials and residents gathered at a meeting on Jan. 19 to discuss changes to the intersection. They say safety is one of the main concerns when wanting to make changes.

“It’s going to improve the safety because obviously with that intersection signalized at certain times of day, like the mornings and the afternoons, there can be a lot of traffic that backs up behind that intersection and that backups can extend quite a way out away from that signal,” Sanders said.  

The $20.4 million project is expected to be completed near the end of 2024.

KOLR10 spoke to a woman who lives near that intersection and says the improvements are great but overdue. 

“I’ve lived there over 50 years and there’s been several wrecks,” said Saundra Jernigan. ” … The traffic backs up right in front of my house. I can’t even get out until about 9 o’clock or so. I think it’ll be great when it’s all done and it’s taken a long time to get it this far, but I think it will be wonderful.” 

“This design does have 60 Highway go up and over the top of 125,” Sanders said. “It’s going to have two roundabouts on either side, the north side in the south side of 60 Highway.” 

MoDOT says going from a signal intersection to a roundabout can reduce severe crashes by 78%.

The Highway 60 and 125 intersection has one of MoDOT’s highest severity crash ratings in the southwest district.

The Logan-Rogersville Fire Protection District, which has stations just north of the intersection, says traffic improvements will help with response times.

Rogersville Fire Chief Rich Stirts said they have made improvements to the stop lights, but there is still work to be done.

“The other aspect of this whole thing that people probably miss out on, is our ability as a fire department to get onto the highway,” Stirts said. “Currently, if there’s a fire or any kind of call, we have to wait for traffic stopped there or not stopped to get across the highway and respond to calls.”

MoDOT says there will be detours and changes as construction starts but that doesn’t start Jernigan from getting excited.

“I just hope it goes smoothly and they get her done!” Jernigan said.