Missouri Department of Transportation improved safety and cut down on frustration for drivers by building an innovative shared four-lane highway on Route 5 about 50 miles northeast of Springfield.
MODOT wanted to improve both the safety and functionality of its many two-lane highways (which make up 60 percent of the state’s rural roads) in an economically responsible manner. Instead of building four lanes, which can be very expensive, MoDOT came up with a shared four-lane highway, which reduces crashes and their severity by offering a third passing lane that alternates between both sides of the highway to give drivers periodic opportunities to pass. This solution was 60 percent less expensive than construction of a typical four-lane highway. The $34 million Route 5 Shared Four-Lane Highway project was the first of its kind in the state and has succeeded in increasing safety and easing driver anxiety while passing other vehicles.