Group will discuss how to widen I-70

Thursday, September 18, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:45 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Improve I-70 Advisory Group will meet today to discuss options for widening Interstate 70 through Columbia.

The group, which includes elected officials and community representatives, will meet at 4 p.m. at the Columbia Activity and Recreation Center.

Bob Brendel of the Missouri Department of Transportation said I-70will likely be widened to eight lanes between U.S. 63 and Stadium Boulevard. No decisions will be made at today’s meeting, he said.

“There are five ways to widen I-70,” Brendel said. “We’ll talk about the pluses and minuses of each.”

Brendel said the segment of I-70 running through Columbia will most likely contain a mix and match of the widening concepts, which include basic widening, two types of frontage roads, collector/distributor and a stacked system.

The St. Louis consulting firm CH2M is evaluating the effects each alternative would have on the community. Buddy Desai, CH2M’s project manager for the I-70 study, said he will explain the methods of evaluating each option.

“We need to explain the process so they understand how we will determine why a widening alternative will serve the needs of the community or why they will not,” Desai said.

Desai also said that his firm does not see the stacking of lanes — one of the five options — as a good plan for Columbia.

“At the meeting we will discuss this elimination,” he said. “There’s a number of disadvantages, but cost is one of the larger ones.”

More information on the project can be found on the Web at:

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