Three East Columbia road projects approved

Monday, August 9, 2010 | 6:05 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The Federal Highway Administration approved a preliminary plan to extend Stadium Boulevard, according to a Missouri Department of Transportation news release.

The administration also approved two other projects June 24, but MoDOT has no funding to start any of the three:

  • Stadium Boulevard extension from U.S. 63 to Interstate 70; costs approximately $39.8 million.
  • Ballenger Lane extension from Clark Lane to the Stadium Boulevard extension; costs approximately $34 million.
  • Route WW (Broadway) improvements from U.S. 63 to the Olivet Road intersection; costs approximately $22 million.

Without funding, there is no way to know when the projects will be completed.

Michael Dusenberg, a district planning manager for MoDOT, said the Ballenger Lane extension will probably be a city-funded project. But he said it was too early to know how the cost of the other two projects would be divided.

Although no funding exists right now, Dusenberg said money should come along in the future. As funding comes in, the projects could be completed piecemeal.

"You build from one logical point to another until the project is done," he said.

In the meantime, some basic design will begin on the Stadium extension before the year is out. This design work helps ensure funds can be used when they are available and provides a more exact cost estimate for the project.

"The more cost-effective you make it, the easier it is to get funding," he said.

This step is the latest in a contentious effort to choose a plan to extend Stadium Boulevard.

Dusenberg said this specific plan was one of five similar alternative plans. It was chosen after considering cost, environmental impact, effects on residents and the public's comments. 

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