Three Columbia highway projects have been identified unanimously by members of the Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization as priorities the state ought to pursue. The state expects to take in $400 million in revenue during the next several years as a result of voters’ approval of Amendment 3.
Of 11 projects cited in a resolution approved by the City Council, members of the CATSO Coordinating Committee decided Thursday to declare three to be priorities. Those include the reconstruction and widening of U.S. 763, also known as Range Line Street, from Big Bear Boulevard to U.S. 63 and an extension of Stadium Boulevard on the east side of the city from U.S. 63 to Interstate 70 near Lake of the Woods.
For the third priority project, CATSO decided to combine two suggestions — the improvement of Route WW from Keene Street east to Rolling Hills Road and improvements to the interchange at U.S. 63 and Route AC — into a goal it calls the U.S. 63 interchange project.
“I think it’s absolutely necessary for 763 to be on this list,” said Skip Elkin, northern district county commissioner and CATSO member.
The list of suggested projects will be sent to the district engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation for further review, then to a public meeting of engineers from around the state. That group will decide which projects receive Amendment 3 money.
City Manager Ray Beck said preliminary cost estimates will be developed for each of the projects.
“I’m sure as they’ll get into the design, it’ll change somewhat, but they’ll probably have some preliminary estimates,” Beck said. He added that some of the projects, including the U.S. 763 plan, already have good estimates.
Beck also said that an extension of and improvements to Scott Boulevard were considered for placement on the list but probably would not have received state funding.
“For example, a district engineer out of the Poplar Bluff area would look at it and see it more as a street that has a lot of local impact but not as much statewide impact,” Beck explained.
In other business, CATSO:
— Agreed after a public hearing to add an extension of Scott Boulevard from Broadway north to Interstate 70 as a major arterial street in the major roadway plan. The project would also involve construction of a new interchange at I-70. City engineers think it would substantially reduce traffic on Broadway and at the intersection of I-70 and Stadium Boulevard.
— Authorized the CATSO Technical Committee to review a study area east of the city that includes the proposed area of the Stadium Boulevard extension, Route WW and the intersection of U.S. 63 and Stadium Boulevard and to develop and implement a comprehensive system of local nonresidential streets along Range Line Street.