Local drivers will be happy to see many orange cones disappearing in the near future.

Local drivers will be happy to see many orange cones disappearing in the near future.

Three construction sites of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) are nearing completion – way ahead of schedule.

The bridge on Missouri Highway 171 between Brooklyn Heights and Carterville is set to open today or Thursday; the roundabout in Oronogo at the interchange of highways 43 and 96 is set to open Friday or Saturday; and the Spring River bridge on Highway 96 is on track to open later this month or early November.

“That project is well over a month ahead of schedule,” said Angela Eden, spokesman for MoDOT, on the Spring River bridge. “Specifically for Carthage, people have been extremely patient. Even though the local drivers have felt the inconvenience of the detours, they will see the benefit of closing those areas so we can get in there and get it done quickly.”

The bridge on 171 is one of the last bridges in the district in the Safe and Sound program, which targeted more than 800 bridges in the state of Missouri. In the southwest district, 135 bridges have been repaired since the program's beginning in spring of 2009. Eden said the Safe and Sound program will conclude this year, which is a year ahead of schedule.

Eden said the roundabout in Oronogo was an opportunity to make a dangerous traffic area a safer place to drive.

“Drivers have experienced serious accidents there and we're anxious to see the results of this project,” Eden said. “The early completion of our projects is a testament of our contractors and workers working well together to get jobs done, and done well. We couldn't be happier, but the ones will be benefit the most from the work done will be the drivers and we want to thank them for their patience.”