A solid line of cars and big-rigs comes into the north end of Houston on U.S. 63 Tuesday morning. Closure of I-44 in Phelps County due to flooding has caused traffic on the freeway to be re-routed south on U.S. 63 to U.S. 60. 

A major U.S. 63 traffic snarl in Texas County is about to receive the attention of law enforcement agencies. 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol and local agencies will begin having a presence at major intersections at Licking and Houston. The decision at about 3 p.m. came after traffic was moving at a snail’s pace through the county — it was especially bad around the Houston area, where vehicles were backed up for miles.

Law enforcement agencies also asked that local residents avoid U.S. 63 as they work to unclog traffic.

Major traffic delays also are reported on U.S. 60 east of Springfield. MoDOT advised to seek alternate routes if headed to Springfield.

MoDOT said U.S. 63 is part of a detour after the closure of I-44 in Phelps County.

Attempting to cross U.S. 63 from Highway F (Walnut Street) or Highway B was difficult Tuesday in Houston.

Westbound Interstate 44 near Jerome in Phelps County (mile marker 172-176) is closed due to flooding. Jerome is just west of Rolla.

Motorists leaving the St. Louis area are advised to use Interstate 70 or U.S. 50 for their travels. The detour for drivers closer to the closed area is U.S. 63 south at Rolla to U.S. 60 west at Cabool to U.S. 65 north in Springfield back to I-44. Travelers using detour routes should expect delays.

In addition, the eastbound lanes of Interstate 44 near Hazelgreen in Laclede County remain closed. 

The Missouri Department of Transportation has put up barriers at the closures, as well as signs to mark the detours.

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