Vandiver Drive extension to connect Columbia completed

Monday, May 17, 2010 | 5:15 p.m. CDT; updated 8:38 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 18, 2010

COLUMBIA — After a little more than a year, the Vandiver Drive project has been completed.

The project, which began in March 2009 as a result of a 2005 voter-approved ballot initiative, has connected Vandiver Drive to Mexico Gravel Road and has created better access to U.S. 63, said Jill Stedem, the city spokeswoman.

The roadway's completion will be recognized at a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on the Mexico Gravel Road bridge over U.S. 63, according to a city news release.

The road extension was designed to create better traffic flow in the area and better connectivity for north Columbia. The project also included two new roundabouts, a new sidewalk and bike lanes, according to a news release from the city. The city has not received input from citizens yet about whether they like the additions.

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The Vandiver Drive project was combined with the Upper Hinkson Creek sewer project, which replaced an 18-inch sewer line and was completed at the same time.

Combined, the projects cost $7 million, Stedem said.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will also serve as the kick-off event for the Mexico Gravel Road expansion project, which will take a two-lane road and widen it to four lanes. The Mexico Gravel Road project is intended to make all the roads in north Columbia better connected, Stedem said.

The project will connect the road to Route PP and to Vandiver Drive and will cost $4.4 million. The project could be completed as early as fall or as late as spring 2011, depending on how much work crews finish before winter, Stedem said.

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