Rock bluff stabilization underway

A rock slide near the Boone and Callaway counties line on US Route 63 caused the closure of one northbound lane of traffic.

A rock bluff along U.S. Route 63 near the Boone/Callaway county line will be stabilized by Boone Construction Company of Columbia. The Missouri Department of Transportation entered into a $600,000 contract with the company Monday.

Work on the project began Tuesday. A series of steps will be cut into the rock bluff to prevent loose rock from falling onto the highway.

One northbound lane of 63 will remain closed for about a week, with periodic closings of the highway until the project's completion in early May. The lane has already been closed since Thursday because of falling rock.

Southern access to Westbrook Drive, which intersects highway 63 at two places, will be closed starting Wednesday at 8 a.m. until the project's completion. The roadway will be accessible about two miles north of the southern entrance, near the Conoco Station.

"We moved as quickly as we could to get this work under contract so we can open the highway back up as soon as possible," MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester said. "We appreciate motorists' patience while we perform this work."

Message boards, warning lights and signs are on Route 63 to inform motorists of the lane closure. There may be minor delays in the work zone.

Loose rock collected from the project will be used for future highway projects.