Drivers in Carthage and eastern Jasper County will see traffic delays for the next few months as the state resurfaces almost 20 miles of Missouri Highway 96 from Carthage to the Lawrence County Route YY.

Drivers in Carthage and eastern Jasper County will see traffic delays for the next few months as the state resurfaces almost 20 miles of Missouri Highway 96 from Carthage to the Lawrence County Route YY.
John D. Mitchell, spokesman for Missouri Department of Transportation, said the contractor will start on April 9, weather permitting, at the eastern end of the project, in Lawrence County, and work west.
Mitchell said the contractor expects to be in Carthage sometime after April 18 and be working in the city for about four days.
All dates depend on weather conditions.
The west end of this project is the intersection of Central and Garrison (Missouri Highway 571) in Carthage.
Mitchell said drivers can expect lane closures and flaggers guiding traffic through the construction zone when the project starts the week of April 9.
APAC Central, based in Springfield, is the prime contractor for the $2.3 million project.
“Contractor crews will resurface driving lanes and shoulders, install rumble stripes along the driving lanes and upgrade guardrail on Route 96 between Missouri Route 571 in Carthage and Lawrence County Route YY,” MoDOT said in a written release. “Flaggers and pilot cars will control the flow of traffic through the work zones. Drivers are urged to use caution when traveling through the work zone and watch for crews and equipment on the road.”
The completion date in the contract with APAC is November 1, however, contractor expects to finish the project by early August. Weather and/or unforeseen delays will alter the work schedule.

Work zone awareness
MoDOT reminds motorists to slow down and not be distracted when driving through construction areas. The emphasis on safety is part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 9-13.
“Please pay attention and drive safely in work zones,” said MoDOT Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger. “Keep your eyes on the roadway. Put your phone down and reduce your speed. We want you and our workers to make it home safe.”
In 2017, 13 people were killed in work zone crashes on state system routes and an additional three on the local system, for a total of 16 fatalities.
Warmer weather will start a busy season of construction and maintenance work on Missouri’s roads and bridges. As a result, interstates and major roads will have numerous work zones set-up through the fall. Around Carthage, contractors will be working on Missouri 96 and the Interstate 49 bridges over Spring River south of the Missouri 171/ Central Avenue interchange.
Carthage Street Department crews as well as Jasper County and Carthage Special Road District crews will also be out in force, repairing the damage that winter leaves behind
Motorists are urged to observe warning signs and merge before reaching lane closures. Please be aware of changing traffic conditions. Traffic could slow or stop unexpectedly, traffic lanes can merge, or equipment and workers can enter the roadway. Be aware and be prepared to slow down. Driving too fast for the conditions is a major factor in work zone crashes.