MoDOT plans to build fence alongside U.S. 63 south of Columbia

Thursday, October 18, 2007 | 8:22 p.m. CDT; updated 4:07 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — The Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission decided to build a fence along the east side of U.S. 63 to discourage foot traffic along a path that leads from a mobile home park to a convenience store on the west side of the highway.

The commission made the decisions on Wednesday to pay D&S Fencing $23,907 to build a 2,100-foot fence.

Ashley Brown, a resident of Sunset Mobile Home Park, has taken the shortcut across four lanes of traffic on U.S. 63 about 30 times in five years to see family and do laundry and other chores. After learning that someone had been killed while making the same trek, she said, her family strongly discouraged her from doing it again.

Brown said the safety measure is “definitely” a good idea. “It will probably stop people,” she said.

Two pedestrians attempting to cross U.S. 63 near Sunset Mobile Home Park have been struck and killed by vehicles since November 2006.

“We have areas where we try to discourage the crossing of the four-lane highway,” said Jason Vanderfeltz, transportation project manager for the Missouri Department of Transportation. “We are trying to create a barrier to protect pedestrians.”

Vanderfeltz said the 4-foot high fence will stand 4 feet from the edge of the outer road and will be positioned to cover the length of the residential area. Although the chain-link fence will not have any sharp edges, Vanderfeltz said he thinks the length of the walk to get to the end of the fence will deter residents from making the risky trip across the highway.

Work on the fence is expected to begin in November and be completed by Dec. 15.

Vanderfeltz said he is confident that there will be future developments, both residential and business in the area, and said the fence will follow the pattern of growth.

“We will probably have to start adding to it as time goes on,” he said.

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