SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Drivers who use Glenstone to get onto James River Freeway are going to notice some changes. The Northbound Glenstone Ave. to Eastbound U.S. Route 60 on-ramp is closed permanently. That change was made Thursday.
The ramp will be closed as part of the James River Freeway/Glenstone Avenue Interchange project. Drivers will need to use a new intersection with a traffic signal at Republic Road/Harvard Avenue to access the eastbound U.S. Route 60 on-ramp.
The construction is leaving drivers confused, but MoDOT says it will relieve congestion.
Lechunda Stokes drives on James River freeway every day. “I usually use it on my way to work because the highway is so convenient from where I live. I actually live not too far from here,” she said, “Since construction started stuff’s definitely been really slow, really backed up a little bit, and definitely more traffic than usual in that area. I’ve been living here my whole life, and I still get confused on the curves because it comes so fast. Like, you don’t know whether to stay in the right lane or go into the left lane.”
Those twists and turns are making way for a roundabout. Brad Gripka, MoDOT Resident Engineer, told OzarksFirst, “For the next two months, we’ll be building the last leg of that east side of the roundabout and tying it all together and then tying in nature center way and then doing all the tie ins and everything.”
Gripka says the roundabout will also tie together Glenstone, Republic Road, and the Eastbound ramp for James River, but those using East Republic Road to get onto the freeway won’t have to use the roundabout. Gripka explains, “So as you come down the hill past the YMCA, as you come up to the Harvard intersection, there is a left turn signal, and as you come up to that there a signalized left turn and then that allows you that free access to make that left turn once the light turns and then they get on to James River.”
For those heading other directions, MoDOT is hoping to finish paving the roads in the next couple of months. But, MoDOT said those getting on James River at Freeway should not see a big delay.
“It adds maybe 30 seconds to a minute interaction wise instead of having an on ramp,” Gripka said. “I wouldn’t say you’re going to have to add on to your commute. If you miss [the light], you’re going to have to go up to the next light or you have to take a different approach. But just be aware that you’re changing your habits and having to go to the Harvard signalized intersection.”
Some of the interchange project plans are to add in a route 60 median in each direction between national and route 65, the consolidation of Glenstone and republic ramps to eastbound 60, replace deteriorating pavement around eastbound 60 west of route 65, and the widening of the westbound route 60 off-ramp to Glenstone.
According to a press release, the following areas are where traffic will be impacted.
•Northbound Glenstone Avenue to Eastbound U.S. Route 60 on-ramp CLOSED in Springfield
•Drivers are to use the new signalized Republic Road/Harvard Avenue intersection to eastbound U.S. Route 60 on-ramp
•Glenstone Avenue traffic shifted head-to-head in the southbound lanes between U.S. Route 60 and the Republic Road/Harvard Avenue intersection in Springfield
•DRIVERS ARE URGED TO FIND ALTERNATE ROUTES
•Electronic message boards located near the planned road work will alert drivers to any changes in the work schedule
•Check MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map for road closings/traffic impacts