COLUMBIA — It's up to Congress to approve federal funding to design the long-awaited extension of Stadium Boulevard, Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., said Monday.
In July, the Senate Appropriations Committee authorized the first $1.5 million to get the project started. Estimated cost for the four-lane extension to the I-70/Lake of the Woods interchange is $133 million.
The $1.5 million is included in a comprehensive Transportation-Housing spending bill.
"We're coming up on the time when the lame-duck session will have to consider appropriations," Bond said.
Bond also noted that the project is a top priority for the Missouri Department of Transportation.
The environmental impact statement is complete and the mapping process is under way, said Roger Schwartze, Central District engineer for MoDOT.
If the project is fully funded, it would take about a year to design and a year to purchase the necessary right of way, Schwartze said.
The state intends to work with Boone County and the city of Columbia to finalize design details, he said.
Extending Stadium Boulevard has been on the Joint City-County Major Roadway Plan since 1970, City Manager Bill Watkins said during the meeting.
“Forty years after, it’s about time for both of us to move forward or get out,” Bond said.
He emphasized infrastructure as the key to economic development.
“Investing in roads is important, not just now but for the future,” he said.