For residents living between Columbia and Jefferson City, Highway 63 is the main source of transportation. However, travel on Highway 63 is scheduled to begin changing in MoDot’s 2021 fiscal year. 

MoDot has $5 million budgeted to start addressing the 13 road crossovers along the stretch of highway and plans to implement closing crossovers, installing J-turns, acceleration and deceleration lanes, and possibly overpasses. 

Overpasses are not to be confused with an interchange, an additional entry or exist along Highway 63, that MoDot has said is not within budget. 

“We are starting to prioritize which crossovers to begin with and are developing estimates on costs that are not determined at this time,” said Melissa Wilbers MoDot project engineer. 

MoDot has determined that the crossovers are a safety hazard and are working on plans that will eventually eliminate the 13 crossovers. 

“You would only be able to turn right onto [highway] 63,” said Ashland Police Cheif Lyn Woolford, who is on the transportation task force. “Drivers on the west side of 63 would only be able to go south, and on the east side go north until they hit an interchange or a J-turn.” 

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By Carson Blake