Boone Hospital to work on William Street, add landscaping

Thursday, August 21, 2008 | 6:12 p.m. CDT; updated 6:30 p.m. CDT, Thursday, August 21, 2008
An artist's rendering shows proposed improvements to William Street.

COLUMBIA — Slowly but surely, the west face of Boone Hospital Center is undergoing a transformation as work continues on a multimillion-dollar parking garage at William Street and Bass Avenue. A colossal crane hovers over the construction site, and signs warn drivers that William Street is partially closed.

Soon, however, William Street will undergo a transformation of its own. Boone Hospital Center is waiting for the Columbia City Council's approval of a plan to spend $1.5 million to beautify and widen the East Campus street. The hospital has told the city it wants to do so for the benefit of patients, the neighborhood and the city. It would cover nearly 70 percent of the cost of the proposed project.

Under the agreement, which the council introduced at its Monday meeting, Boone Hospital Center would:

• Widen parts of William Street at East Broadway to improve northbound traffic flow. Improvements would include a dedicated left turn lane, two through lanes and a right turn lane.

• Design and build an 8-foot pedway with a 5-foot landscaped buffer featuring street trees, landscaping and lighting on the west side of William Street, plus a 6-foot sidewalk with a similar 5-foot landscaped buffer on the east side of William from Broadway to Anthony Street.

• Design and build a 6-foot sidewalk with a 5-foot landscaped buffer on the north and south sides of Bass Avenue from William Street to 240 feet west of the intersection of Bass Avenue and William Street.

• Design and construct a traffic circle with approach medians at the intersection of William Street, Bass Avenue and the Boone Hospital Center entrance drive.

Boone Hospital Center spokeswoman Kyle Sheafer said the street work is part of the hospital expansion project that began last year and includes not only the parking garage but also a new patient tower. She said it symbolizes the hospital's passion for change, "for our patients as well as for the community."

To reflect the community's interests, Boone Hospital Center met with the East Campus Neighborhood Association to ensure members were happy with the plans. Sheafer said they shared concerns about lighting, safety, traffic and especially noise during construction.

"We have taken those concerns into consideration," she said.

East Campus Neighborhood Association President Bonnie Bourne confirmed the hospital had met with the group.

"We live 2½ blocks from the garage construction, and we have not experienced any noise construction that has affected our quality of life," Bourne said. "We are all happy about the landscaping that will take place."


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Ray Shapiro August 21, 2008 | 7:24 p.m.

Am I out of my mind or is this the same Boone Hospital that closed down their great in-patient MH department and threatens to do away with a great CBT
trauma support group?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr August 21, 2008 | 8:15 p.m.

No ray it is one and the same ^_^

(Report Comment)
T.M. Ford August 21, 2008 | 9:46 p.m.

Don't forget the $6 million garage to go with closure of the 12 bed inpatient psychiatry unit. Or the $1 million "Robot" - that is a strange one. The University Hospital had already bought a robot - why did Boone also buy a robot then close the psychiatry unit?
How can the health care community in central Missouri support two robots and no private inpatient psychiatry!
The late Walter Johnson was right - the BJC lease will forever be a one-sided (west to east) monster. BJC sees BHC as nothing but cash machine. The county hospital is now completely dead with closing of psychiatry.

(Report Comment)

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