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      Resurfacing and striping planned for interchange

      Over the past 18 months, there's been about 15 accidents in and around the U.S. Highway 24 and 61 interchange in Taylor, Mo.

      Over the past 18 months, there's been about 15 accidents in and around the U.S. Highway 24 and 61 interchange in Taylor, Mo.

      The Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission wants to improve the safety on that portion of highway.

      The commission recently approved a plan to resurface a portion of the highway and to also add more signs and lane markings on the northbound lanes of U.S. 61 between Highway 6 and the interchange which is about a mile north of Highway 6 overpass.

      When drivers head north on U.S. 61 near Taylor the highway signs indicate what drivers have to do to make their way either north to Canton or east to Quincy. But over the past several months when it has rained, there have been some accidents.

      "Some of the issues with signing and striping are some of the concerns we've had before about people not understanding what lane they're suppose to be in and if they want to go to Quincy or straight to go to Canton, so we're trying to get changes to motorists to make them more aware of where they need to be," Kevin James, the assistant district engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation said. "The work on the pavement has to do with some accidents we've seen based on performance during wet weather conditions."

      The plan that was approved at the commission meeting in Hannibal earlier this month calls for the pavement in the area to be resurfaced and for more signage to be installed alerting drivers to what lane to use depending on what direction they're wanting to travel. Some drivers think there isn't enough distance between the signage and where you must exit.

      "We are always looking at our areas to see what types of things we can do to make them better, we've also got some calls from the public about their concerns up there as well," he said. "So with all those things combined, it's helped us to get to this point to make some improvements. But also a combinations with things with the pavement and the signing and the striping are going to make things better in the area."

      Work on the project is expected to begin after Labor Day and should be wrapped up by the end of the month. Cost of the project is $219,533.56

      Missouri Department of Transportation says at least one lane of traffic will be kept open during the construction project.

      The exit and entrance ramps may be closed for brief periods of time might close during off-peak hours.