COLUMBIA — Traffic was backed up eight cars deep on Thursday afternoon as road workers reinforced the road's edges on the Route K for bicycle lanes.
The new four-foot shoulders and bicycle lanes on seven miles of Route K should be finished by early next week, weather permitting, said resident engineer Charles Sullivan of the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Asphalt has been laid by the contractor APAC-Missouri Inc., Sullivan said. The final steps include seeding, mulching and placing rumble strip and should be completed this weekend or Monday.
Once the state finishes striping, the project will be considered complete, Sullivan said.
Construction on the $2 million project started in June but experienced delays. Designers initially underestimated the amount of dirt needed to widen the shoulders, Sullivan said.
Plans for the Route K widening were proposed during a public meeting in July 2011. The project started later than anticipated because contractor bids were higher than the budget and new bids were submitted, with APAC eventually chosen.
The additions will improve safety for drivers and bicyclists, according to a Department of Transportation news release. The newly expanded road runs for seven miles on Route K, from Route 163 at Rock Bridge Elementary School to McBaine in the Missouri River bottoms, where the bicycle lanes will connect with Katy Trail State Park.