Expect traffic delays as major construction project at Highway 65/248 Bridge proceeds

Southbound Highway 65 exit ramp to Highway 248 leading into construction area with bridge to left.

“Branson visitors and locals alike might want to start factoring the construction that is currently taking place at the intersection of Highway 248 and U.S. 65,” advised Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “When completed, the project will relieve one of the last major traffic bottlenecks in the Branson area, making travel at the Highway 248/U.S. 65 bridge and interchange with its access to U.S. Highway 65, Branson Landing and Historic Downtown Branson much more efficient and safer,” she added.

David Miller, Engineering/Public Works Director for the city of Branson said, “The $5 million dollar project, being financed 75 percent by the city of Branson and 25 percent by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT), is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.” The project will widen the existing Highway 248 bridge, convert the interchange into a diverging diamond, repair the existing bridge deck and widen the lanes leading onto and off of Highway 65. Miller pointed out that the project will actually be a MODOT project and, except for some decorative street light posts, constructed and controlled by them.

He estimates that for the first two months there will be minimal impact on the Highway 248 traffic because the initial work will involve filling in the areas that will be used for the expansion of the ramps and adding the third lane to the bridge. He did point out however, that during several nights of this early period, that U.S. Highway 65 will have to be closed for the installation of the new bridge lane. It is anticipated this will happen between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.. The Highway 65 traffic will be routed over the Highway 248 entrance and exit ramps.

Once the crews start working up near the bridge, the center lane that holds the traffic waiting to turn north on U.S. 65 will be closed at times creating traffic delays. In most situations, traffic exiting from Highway 65 southbound and heading west and traffic coming up Branson Landing Boulevard and turning north on Highway 65 should be minimally impacted. Those wanting to go from downtown Branson or Branson Landing westbound on Highway 248 during any project traffic delays might want to consider alternate routing such as Highway 76 to Roark Valley Road and James F. Epps road back to Highway 248. That routing would reverse for those traveling east bound on Highway 248 wanting to go to Branson Landing and Historic Downtown Branson etc.

Other alternate routing would be to use the Highway 65 and State Highway 76 junction for access to and from U.S. 65. The Branson Hills exit and Branson Hills Parkway is another excellent alternate route to get to Highway 248 and avoid traffic.

Miller suggests that drivers allow a little extra time for travel during those periods when the traffic is impeded by the project and says that when the project is completed the improved traffic flow, efficiency and safety will be worth the minor inconveniences and delays caused by the projects construction.

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