Six Columbia GetAbout projects get green light from City Council

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 | 3:55 p.m. CDT
GetAbout Columbia has several proposed plans to create more sidewalks and trails throughout the city. The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department and GetAbout Columbia staff have prioritized these trails and sidewalks as the top five projects.

COLUMBIA — The Columbia City Council gave approval to begin the planning stages for six GetAbout projects at its meeting Tuesday.

The projects include:

  • An extension of the Hinkson Creek Trail
  • Phase two of the western portion of the County House Trail
  • A trail running from Old 63 at Shepard Boulevard to the east end of Rollins Street
  • Bike lanes and curb maintenance on Providence Road and Nifong Boulevard
  • Two sidewalk projects along Clark Lane

Going into the meeting, only five projects were proposed for funding, but council members added the Providence Road and Nifong Boulevard project to the list after its cost was reduced from $309,000 to $130,000 because of a price sharing program with the federal government.

The city has $3.57 million remaining to spend on GetAbout projects, which came from federal grants. The estimated cost of the six approved projects is $3.61 million, but City Manager Mike Matthes and council members said they had budgeted conservatively and were optimistic that the projects would come in under budget.

Council members didn't approve seven other projects because they were ranked as lower priorities by city staff. Council members and Matthes said that if the approved projects come in significantly under budget, some of the others could be reconsidered.

Although council gave approval for the projects to be moved into the planning stage, each still has to go through several steps before construction can begin, said David Nichols, assistant director at the Columbia Public Works Department. The city must solicit and negotiate contracts with consultants, begin design work, host interested party meetings, give feedback to the council and hold a public hearing on the proposal.

Because each step has to be approved by the council, the Missouri Department of Transportation and the federal government, Nichols said it can take more than a year for construction to begin. 

Missourian reporter James Gordon contributed to this report.

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.

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