COLUMBIA — John Sullivan and his wife, Susan, have lived in their house on Scott Boulevard — one of the few homes that faces the road — for the last 27 years. Because Scott Boulevard is one of the fastest growing streets in town, the Sullivans have watched Columbia grow before their eyes.
“Sometimes we’d go on trips with the kids to see grandparents in Omaha, (Neb.), and the most dangerous part of the trip would be the last few miles on Scott,” said Sullivan, whose property will be affected by the construction of a sidewalk and retaining wall in connection to the second phase of reconstruction along Scott Boulevard.
Preliminary work on the the project began last week when the City Council moved to enter the final stages of easement acquisitions and agreed to subsequently send the project out to bid.
This second phase of construction looks to increase safety and flow of traffic along the road between Brookview Terrace and Vawter School Road. The plan calls for 11 easements, five drainage easements, reconstruction of sidewalks and street pavement, the rebuilding of the bridge over Hinkson Creek, and the construction of a roundabout at the intersection along Scott Boulevard and Vawter School Road.
The estimated cost of the project is about $5.8 million, and all funds have already been allocated from the following sources: county tax rebate funds, capital improvement sales tax, capital fund balance, and development fees.
The first phase of the project widened the road, added bike lanes, and constructed sidewalks between Rollins Road and Brookview Terrace. This phase took two years and was completed in the summer of 2011.
Steven Sapp, the public information specialist for Columbia Public Works, said the project was discussed at the Jan. 22 City Council meeting and should be finalized Monday.
Businesses and subdivisions bring traffic to Scott Boulevard
Scott Boulevard, which used to be a simple two-lane asphalt road on the outskirts of town, has now become a main thoroughfare due to an influx of businesses and subdivisions along the road in recent years.
The project has met little opposition, and many see it as necessary due to the increase in traffic and the nature of the road itself.
According to Sullivan, the road was especially dangerous during the icy winter months and much hillier before the reconstruction began, but resurfacing and widening the road to two lanes has made travel on Scott Boulevard less hazardous .
“We’re excited for the continued improvement of Scott for transportation flow,” said Scott Olsen, chief of the Boone County Fire Protection District. The Fire District has a firehouse on property that will be involved in the construction.
Olsen said the city informed him it would be realigning the property’s driveway with Scott after the construction because that section of the road will be elevated to prevent future flooding from Hinkson Creek.
There is no concrete timeline on the project yet. The project is in the final design phases and when the easement acquisition is officially approved and the design finalized, bids will be sent out.
Sapp said the city will have a timeline after the bid is awarded and a construction schedule is developed.
While this project stands to benefit Columbia residents who use Scott Boulevard daily, the Sullivans, especially, are looking forward to the improvements along their section of the road.
"Over the years the road has gone from a county road to a major road for subdivisions," Sullivan said. "Improvements are taking place and that's wonderful."
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