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Commission awards final phase of Route 72 bypass

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission awarded a contract during its regular meeting Friday for improvements to Route 72 in Madison County. The $4,452,355 contract was awarded to Robertson Contractors, Inc., Poplar Bluff.

The project is the final phase of the Route 72 Fredericktown bypass project, which will relocate Route 72 around the west side of Fredericktown.

When completed, the new bypass will connect to the roundabout and extend two miles, where it will then intersect Route OO immediately north of the Pig Barbeque restaurant. In the final phase of the project, Route OO will be re-designated as Route 72 south of the bypass intersection.

The project will include grading, paving and the construction of bridges over Little Francis River and Village Creek.

Originally, paving was not scheduled to be included in this phase of the project. The bypass paving project was scheduled to be let in October 2009. But an opportunity arose that allowed MoDOT to advance funding, and the paving project was combined with the bridge and grading projects.

“Combining the projects offers benefits to both MoDOT and motorists,” said Project Manager Tim Richmond. “First, we were able to receive better overall bids from contractors.” Secondly, the project will be completed and open to traffic sooner.”

During construction, no delays are anticipated for travelers on Route 72. However, travelers should expect temporary delays on Route OO and City Lake Road.

Work zones will be marked with signs as the improvements are being made. Drivers are urged to use extreme caution near the work zone and plan for possible delays. MoDOT will alert drivers prior to any change in traffic.

Work on the project could begin as early as this January, weather permitting. By summer 2010, the new highway is expected to be open to traffic.

To help finance the Fredericktown bypass project, MoDOT partnered with Madison County. The county contributed $3.4 million towards the improvements.

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