Commission awards $12.7 million contract for Stadium Boulevard project

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 | 8:47 p.m. CST; updated 11:39 a.m. CST, Thursday, February 7, 2013
The Missouri Department of Transportation announced plans Tuesday to reconfigure the interchange at Stadium Boulevard and Interstate 70. Construction on a new diverging diamond interchange will begin in mid-March along with other projects designed to alleviate traffic along Stadium Boulevard.

COLUMBIA — The contract for a $12.7 million project to widen part of Stadium Boulevard and create a new diamond interchange at its intersection with Interstate 70 has been awarded to a Columbia company, Emery Sapp and Sons Inc.

Construction could start as early as mid-March but no later than April 8 and could last until late 2014.

The project will widen Stadium Boulevard from north of Interstate 70 to south of Broadway and add two lanes to Bernadette Drive from Fairview Road to Beverly Drive, said Mike Dusenberg, District Project Manager with the Missouri Department of Transportation.

“There will be a lot of night work because of the volume of traffic,” he said. “There will also be single lane closures on Stadium and periodic closures of intersections, such as Worley and Ash.”

The additional lanes and intersections are proposed to alleviate traffic congestion. The weaving style of the diamond interchange will reduce the amount of conflict points.

Columbia will follow St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield’s lead of using the French-style interchange.

This video from MoDOT  illustrates how this kind of diamond interchange works:

Construction of the interchange will take place toward the end of the process and will require closing the intersection of Stadium and I-70 for one weekend. The public will be notified, and Dusenberg said it won't be scheduled during a big weekend, such as  the Show-Me Games, a home football game or graduation.

The project is funded by a cost-share agreement between MoDOT and the City of Columbia. The department financed approximately $8.9 million and the city $8.2 million.

Aside from the $12.7 million construction contract, which was awarded by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, the $17 million project covers property right acquisition, engineering costs and utility relocation.

For more information, call 888-275-6636 or go to MoDOT's Boone county webpage for major projects.

Supervising editor is Zach Murdock.

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Bill Fisher February 7, 2013 | 5:32 a.m.

Half the people in Columbia still can't figure out how to use round-abouts. This is going to be hilarious!

(Report Comment)
Richard Saunders February 7, 2013 | 11:03 a.m.

I believe it will be an improvement, but all of those medicated, distracted drivers will likely slam on the brakes when first approaching the intersection.

Hopefully, it will be well signed, IN ADVANCE of the intersection.

Now if we could only get people to understand the concept of acceleration and deceleration lanes, then perhaps traffic could flow as intended. The number of people I see getting onto West bound I-70 from Stadium that absolutely fail to adjust their speed in order merge properly is atrocious. Many do not even start to accelerate (or look at where to merge) until they are near the END of the ramp. By then, they have screwed themselves, and will slam on the brakes, endangering everyone in the vicinity.

It, and the short ramp off of Providence are the most dangerous part of my daily commute.

(Report Comment)
Andy Schuette February 7, 2013 | 12:41 p.m.

I just spent two weeks down in Springfield, using the I-44/MO13 interchange almost every day, and I can say with certainty that the diverging diamond will work great for the Stadium interchange. Traffic flows extremely well, signage is very well done, and it's a lot easier to navigate than you'd think. Try it, you'll like it!

Besides, it's a lot easier to use than a roundabout, and that's saying something. (Always yield to the left and don't stop once you're in the roundabout!)

(Report Comment)
Richard Saunders February 7, 2013 | 2:09 p.m.

Andy, too bad they don't put that sign on the roundabouts! I regularly get flipped off and honked at by very angry people coming off of I-70 at the Loop roundabout. All because I enter it from the Loop without giving them a chance to cut me off.

Of course, if the roundabouts weren't so damn tiny, this wouldn't be an issue. Nor would it be for the old people I see turning LEFT onto it in order to get to west-bound 70. Nor would it be for the people who wait on the cars that were in DIRECTLY in front of them before entering it (cuz they're gonna do some laps, right?).

Oh well, it not only could be worse, it likely will be.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 7, 2013 | 2:44 p.m.

"cuz they're gonna do some laps"

Big Ben......Parliament..........

Of course, for us it's "Cemetery....yeah, well finger THIS!.....Cemetery....I'm gonna ram the next guy who pulls out.....Cemetery....YOU STOPPED?....Cemetery......YOU-DUMBASS-WHY-ARE-TEXTING-INNA-CIRCLE!......Cemetery.....AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!"

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 7, 2013 | 3:43 p.m.

Radius/diameter is critical for traffic circles. when encountering a circle, take a look at the outside curb. If the curb is coated with black (rubber), the circle may be of too small a radius.

There also needs to be adequate drainage. One circle in Venezuela either had inadequate drainage by design or else the drains were stopped up. Most afternoons in the tropics it rains - hard. The traffic circle turned into a temporary swimming pool.

Thirdly, the circle should be as nearly level as possible. Do we really need to be driving in a circle while going up or down at the same time?

I once before mentioned a circle in Belgium that was augmented by a rotating traffic light, located in the center island of the circle. The light continuously rotated, but only a segment of it was green. You were not supposed to enter the circle until the green portion of the light was in front of you.

Some motorists tried to "get a jump" on the green light; some simply ignored the signal. :)

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 7, 2013 | 5:21 p.m.

Radius/diameter is critical for traffic circle.....

Quit being a knowitall. Which is it? Radius or diameter?

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger February 7, 2013 | 5:23 p.m.

Mr. Williams: "cuz they're gonna do some laps"

The lap feature comes in handy when driving in foreign lands and not being as facile with the local language as one might be. In rural France, where there may be as many as five or six roads being "serviced" by the roundabout, I found taking a lap or two to translate the signs and get my bearings is quite convenient.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 7, 2013 | 6:08 p.m.

Michael, I believe Ellis was referring to radius divided by diameter, but darned if he doesn't always get the same snswer for every circle!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 7, 2013 | 8:21 p.m.

JohnS: You, too?

I've noticed that every time I divide the circumference by the diameter, I get the same damn number every single time.

Except when I'm in a saddle-shaped universe with a non-Euclidean alien. Then the number is different. I discussed this with a Mr. Einstein and his secretary Miss Lightspeed, the latter being of rather serious gravity. They had noticed the same thingie. They also showed me some really neat stuff like how their clock ran different from mine when they were on a train and I wasn't. Waaaay cool.

Still trying to figure all this out and I was on track until Ellis piped up.

PS: Once, I was calculating that circumference number divided by the diameter out to an incredible number of digits and lo-and-behold I discovered a matrix that was the product of two prime numbers and the matrix was comprised of zeros and ones and there was this circle and....wait...that might have been a book.

Never mind.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 7, 2013 | 8:30 p.m.

HankO: Hell, you don't have to go to France to experience that.

I did at least 5 circles in a New Jersey roundabout once upon a time and, believe it or not, I spoke English and so were the signs although Jersey was spelled Joysey. I think that was the same time I couldn't find a particular client and asked two Newark cops sitting in a car if they could help me. I was dressed in a really nice suit/tie/wingtips that must have spelled out "M.O.N.E.Y". One looked at the other, then one of them said, "We don't do anything for free." Fortunately for me, I was a Columbia reserve cop at the time, told them so and pretty-please help me out, and made my appointment on time. Only time that's ever happened to me. My father-in-law had to pay 50 bucks to get out of Moscow, Russia once, a price I would pay to get through a couple of Columbia's roundabouts during rush-hour.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 7, 2013 | 8:36 p.m.

I'm really excited that we'll get to go around and around that diamond.

ON A BRIDGE, no less.

Way cool.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 8, 2013 | 8:01 a.m.

@ Williams:

Sorry, the "/" was meant to signify "or" and not division. You need to understand that at MS&T we employ our own system of notation, known as "hillbilly glyphics."

For some reason (definition?) the diameter always seems to be twice the radius. Schultz apparently passed Geometry.

(Report Comment)

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