One of the state's busiest bridges – Interstate 70 over the Missouri River near Rocheport west of Columbia – will have an eastbound lane closed for several upcoming days due to emergency repairs to an expansion joint on the bridge.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says motorists should expect significant congestion and delays, particularly during peak traffic times, such as morning and evening rush hours. If possible, drivers are encouraged to take alternative routes around the work zone, such as U.S. 50 and U.S. 36. The westbound lanes will not be affected by the project.

MoDOT crews will begin making repairs at 7 p.m. Saturday and will be working 24 hours a day until the project is done. MoDOT says it anticipates the repair work to last through Wednesday, but weather or other work delays could cause the project to take longer.

Crews will start work on the outside eastbound lane, then will switch to the inside lane. Speed limits will be reduced to 45 mph while work takes place, and the bridge remains to safe for travel during the repair work.