Columbia changes traffic diversion near closed section of Scott Boulevard

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | 3:53 p.m. CDT; updated 4:58 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 15, 2014

COLUMBIA — More than a month after part of Scott Boulevard closed for construction, the Columbia Public Works Department is adjusting the way it diverts traffic around the area.

The closed stretch of road, between Bellview Drive and the intersection of Vawter School Road, served about 10,500 cars a day, Public Works spokesman Steven Sapp said. That traffic has been diverted to Route K in the south, and Chapel Hill Road and Forum Boulevard in the north.

Columbia police direct traffic at two points along Chapel Hill on weekdays between 4 and 6 p.m., and the Missouri Athletic Center on Forum Boulevard allows only right turns in and out of the complex between those hours to accommodate the increased amount of traffic.

Sapp said these alternative routes add an extra 15 to 25 minutes for drivers traveling in the area.

The road closed March 3 as part of a larger Public Works project to expand it into a larger north-south corridor from Route E to Route K. The construction will keep the road closed until Aug. 8.

Columbia resident Ken Stastny lives north of the project, and said the alternate route gets backed up and adds about 10 minutes to his drive.

Erica Watson, who works at the Break Time at 4105 W. Vawter School Road, said the construction has led to slower business and fewer hours for employees.

“We used to be one of the busiest Break Times in Columbia,” she said. “That was before, though. People who used to come buy alcohol, coming home from work or whatever, go around and they don’t come this way anymore.”

Sapp said this was like any other project: "There's a little pain, but at the end we think it will be worth it."

The second phase of the project is set to be complete in the fall, and the third phase will begin in 2016. Voters approved funding for the $5.9 million project in 2005.

Supervising editor is Laura Davison.

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