Interstate 70 will be closed between Missouri 291/Interstate 470 and Interstate 435 this weekend as the Missouri Department of Transportation plans to drop a pair of bridges as part of the two-year reconstruction project at the I-70 and I-435 interchange.

The freeway will be closed from 9 p.m. Friday to approximately 5 a.m. Monday.

Crews already on Thursday evening closed to the ramps for the bridges to be demolished – the left-exit bridges from southbound I-435 to eastbound I-70 and from northbound I-435 to westbound I-70. They will be replaced long flyover ramps that exit from the right, opening next year.

At about 7 p.m. Friday, I-70 will be reduced to one lane in both directions, and about 8 p.m. crews will begin closing all on- and off-ramps along that stretch of I-70. At 9 p.m., westbound traffic on I-70 will be detoured to southbound I-470/M-291, and eastbound I-70 traffic will be detoured to southbound I-435.

MoDOT will not be allowing local westbound traffic to drive through to exits at Lee's Summit and Noland Roads, U.S. 40 and Blue Ridge Cutoff, out of concern for traffic overload and perhaps some through traffic mistakenly going through and causing backups. By completely closing that stretch of I-70, crews can perform maintenance on the highway such as lighting, drainage, median and pavement work.

MoDOT also said motorists should not bank on crews being done much earlier than the scheduled closure. In addition to demolishing and cleaning up the ramps from I-435, crews will be doing drainage work that requires a saw cut across all of I-70 and then additional excavation and concrete work.