Missouri officials recently selected a design-build team of Millstone Weber and Jacobs for the first $405-million project planned as part of a program to widen and improve Interstate 70 across the state. Lawmakers budgeted $2.8 billion for six projects covering nearly 200 miles of the highway between the Kansas City and St. Louis metro areas.

The scope of this first project covers the addition of a third lane in both directions and concrete paving of all lanes along a 20-mile section of I-70 between Columbia and Kingdom City, Mo. The project also includes reworking the U.S. 63 interchange with two new ramps and four roundabouts, plus reconstructing the U.S. 54 interchange with two new bridges. The inside and outside shoulders would also be widened. 

The Millstone Weber-Jacobs team competed against one other team for the job, according to the Missouri Dept. of Transportation. Officials said last October that the other prequalified team invited to submit a proposal was I-70 Constructors, a joint venture of Emery Sapp & Sons and Capital Paving and Construction. In a statement, MoDOT officials said that the “winning proposal showed not only an understanding of the engineering and design endeavors set out before the teams, but it also highlighted an understanding of the local, statewide and national importance of an improved I-70.”

Bob Leingang, vice president and chief engineer at St. Charles, Mo.-based Millstone Weber, said in a statement that the project “is a huge deal for everyone who drives this stretch of interstate and uses these interchanges.”

Construction is scheduled to start this summer and planned for completion in late 2027, according to MoDOT. 

Officials plan to begin procurement for the second project covering the eastern end from Warrenton to Wentzville, estimated to cost between $400 million and $500 million, in the summer. Procurement for the third project, expected to cost between $200 million and $300 million for the western end from Blue Springs to Odessa, would then follow in the fall. MoDOT officials aim to have both contracts awarded by next spring. 

Contract awards for the remaining projects are planned through 2027 for completion of the whole program in 2030. 

Missouri is funding the majority of the estimated cost for the projects itself. The U.S. Dept. of Transportation recently awarded a $92.8-million grant to the state for I-70 improvements. According to Gov. Mike Parson, it is the largest transportation grant Missouri has ever received.