City, college plan work on Range Line Street

Monday, January 4, 2010 | 7:23 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — A $1.2 million makeover of a section of Range Line Street in the central city is in the works.

Although the project remains subject to the approval of the Columbia City Council, the plan as proposed calls for the city and Columbia College to split the cost of the project. A bill authorizing the work was scheduled to be introduced at the council's meeting Monday night. It would be up for a final vote on Jan. 19.

The project as outlined would happen this fall and would include improvements at intersections, landscaping and architectural amenities, among other things, city Public Works Director John Glascock said.

Bob Hutton, executive director of administrative services at Columbia College, said that although the plan will improve the area aesthetically, "it is primarily a safety issue."

Hutton said there is now only one crosswalk leading to the eastern part of the campus from Range Line Street. Plans call for adding up to five crosswalks across the road. Other changes would include new sidewalks and curbs.

"It's going to be a major rebuilding project," Hutton said.

The original plan was to abolish parking on the east side of Range Line to allow for a median. City and college planners, however, recognized the potential for greater improvements in the area, which lies north of Rogers Street and south of Business Loop 70.

"We figured, why not make it a bigger and better project while we're tearing things up," Hutton said.

Hutton said the college hopes for minimal disruption when students are on campus.  Buildings along Range Line will be accessible while the work is being done.

The city would spend about $625,000 to put utilities underground. The city also would cover the cost of new street signs and pavement. 

Columbia College would spend about $560,000 on improvements to intersections, storm sewers, street lighting, landscaping and architecture, Glascock said.

The plan is scheduled for completion in fall 2011.


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