(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) St. Joseph drivers can soon expect smoother roads.
MoDOT began its estimated month-long resurfacing project Sunday on the city's arguably busiest roadway, the Belt Highway.
St. Joseph drivers who use Highway 169, more commonly known as the Belt Highway, everyday on their way to work, school or for a leisurely drive said it's about time the highway is fixed.
“It’s pretty rough. They need to fix it,” said Gary, motorcyclist.
As a lifelong motorcyclist, Gary has put in 27,000 miles on his bike this year. While on his way to visit his grandchildren in St. Joseph, he couldn't help but notice how unsafe the Belt Highway is for motorcyclist like himself.
“It can be really dangerous. A pothole that a car will just go over, if you hit it on your bike, you can end up lying it down or wrecking. It can be pretty serious for a motorcyclist,” said Gary.
St. Joseph drivers have a long list of improvements they want done to the Belt Highway and MoDOT is putting them into action.
“It’s not in great shape. We get a lot of customer concerns about it," said Jessica Burns, resident engineer for St. Joseph MoDOT, “The asphalt there has reached the end of its life lifecycle, so it needs to be repaved.”
U.S. Highway 169 is undergoing a resurfacing project starting from the north I-29 exit, by the north shoppes, to the south I-29 exit by Love's Truck Stop.
MoDOT said about six miles on the highway will be paved and striped.
“First we are starting with all of the intersections and turn lanes involved in the project limit,” said Burns.
MoDOT said to reduce the impact on drivers and businesses along the Belt Highway, operations will be conducted during the night, Sunday through Friday from 7 p.m.- 6 a.m.
Burns said this is the first major improvement project the roadway has seen in over 10 years.
“It has been awhile, yeah. We’re putting a super pave on it, so it should be a few years before we have to go back and do it again. We should end up with a pretty nice product,” said Burns.
Burns said she hopes the resurfacing project will give drivers peace of mind behind the wheel.
“I know we have a lot of citizens concerned about the conditions of the Belt, but we are getting it done and it will be all re-striped before they know it,” said Burns.
MoDOT said the resurfacing project will wrap up early next month and cost $3.9 million.