Expect slow traffic this weekend on one of the busiest highways in Eastern Jackson County. Traffic planners suggest finding an alternate route.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says traffic will be cut down to one lane each way this weekend on Interstate 470 from 39th Street in Independence south about a mile to the Little Blue River. That starts at 8 p.m. Friday and runs through late Sunday evening, according to MoDOT.

MoDOT says it expects what it calls “major impacts” on traffic and suggests drivers plan ahead and try to find an alternate route. But if you’re on that stretch of road this weekend, slow down and put the phone down. Use the zipper merge and take turns at the merge point.

This weekend’s lane closures are for pavement work in advance of repairs to the I-470 bridges over Interstate 70, U.S. 40 and the Little Blue. That work is tentatively set to start in August.

In all, MoDOT is working on 15 bridges along I-470, with the aim of getting another 15 to 20 years out of them. This is will be the second summer of a planned two-year project.