JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The work to widen Interstate 70 across most of Missouri began in earnest earlier this week, with crews conducting lane closures from Columbia to Kingdom City to prepare the work zones.

The Missouri Department of Transportation’s Improve I-70 Program will add a third lane of I-70 in both directions from Blue Springs in the Kansas City area to Wentzville in the St. Louis area, modernizing approximately 200 miles of the interstate while improving or rehabilitating existing pavement, bridges, and interchanges.

Governor Mike Parson signed off on the $2.8 billion expansion project in August 2023.

The first phase of the Improve I-70 program between Columbia and Kingdom City is expected to be completed by late 2027.

Check FOX 2’s traffic map for real-time updates.

Meanwhile, the second phase of the program, which would see lane expansion from Warrenton to Wentzville, is still in the process of selecting a contractor for the project. On Thursday, MoDOT announced three pre-qualified teams competing to win the bid:

Ames Millstone Weber Joint Venture

Ames Construction, Millstone Weber, Parsons Transportation Group

Improve I-70 Alliance Joint Venture

Emery Sapp & Sons, Clarkson Construction, HNTB, Bartlett & West

The Walsh Team

Walsh Construction, American Structurepoint, RS&H, Olsson

The contract will be announced this fall, with construction expected to begin as early as spring 2025.