City lists more roads for improvements

Four routes proposed for Amendment 3 funds.
Thursday, December 23, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:58 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Additional proposals for road improvements in Columbia will be submitted to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for approval when it meets on Jan. 14, said Jay Bestgen, planning engineer for District 5.

The proposals include work on Missouri 740, 163 and 763 and the I-70 Business Loop.

They are still working on costs estimates to give to the commission, Bestgen said.

In November, Columbians voted overwhelmingly for Amendment 3, which allows for all vehicle sales taxes and a portion of gas taxes to be channeled directly to the Missouri Department of Transportation instead of the state’s general revenue fund. It means the department will have access to money without it first being funneled through the state.

On Dec. 10, the Department of Transportation released the first part of its Smooth Roads Initiative for using the new revenues from Amendment 3. The plan provides $160 million for 57 projects. The plan includes $9.99 million to resurface pavement and shoulders on U.S. 63 from 1.3 miles south of Interstate 70 to U.S. 54 north of Jefferson City.

It is the first part of the department’s three-part Smoother, Safer, Sooner program to use Amendment 3 funds to improve the state’s highway system.

Its plan is expected to provide 2,200 miles of smoother pavement, brighter road markings and other safety improvements with $400 million during the next three years. According to the department, the highways affected account for 60 percent of all traffic on the state system and about 86 percent of all Missourians live within 10 miles of these roads.

The other two parts of the program are the Acceleration of Existing Project Commitments and Selecting New High-Priority Projects.

The first of these plans is intended to look at projects for the next five years and examine ways to accelerate their completions. A list of these accelerated projects, including some in Columbia, will be announced to the commission on Jan. 14 along with remaining Smooth Roads Initiative projects.

The final part of the program is intended to examine new projects and means of spending Amendment 3 revenues. The department estimates there will be $1.3 to $1.5 billion available between 2007 and 2010 for new high-priority projects. It will announce the details of these new projects in May.

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