Dear Extra Lane on Interstate 44: We'll Miss You!
|I-44 in 2007: An extra lane is born.|
Sure, it was scary (and exhilarating!) that first time we drove you back in 2007 -- the year they squeezed you onto the blacktop to compensate for the entire shutdown of Interstate 64. (Or as we like to say Highway 40).
For a while you made us feel like we were in that chariot race in Ben Hur. But eventually we all learned to navigate you.
Who knows? Perhaps you even made us all better drivers. At the very least, you gave us a new-found respect for eighteen-wheelers. You know, the big rigs that you funneled dangerously close to our side-view mirrors?
Alas, we knew it would never last. The Federal Highway Administration made sure of that when they granted Missouri a temporary permit to use you. This weekend MoDOT will take you away. They're planning to re-stripe eastbound 44 back to its original four lanes this weekend. The westbound lanes will be re-striped soon thereafter.
Yes, fifth lane, parting is such sweet sorrow (though merging should soon get a lot easier). It was fun while it lasted.