City to vote on taking control of 12 streets

Monday, November 26, 2007 | 10:39 p.m. CST; updated 1:29 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

COLUMBIA — The city of Columbia is poised to take over the maintenance of 12 streets currently controlled by the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Most of the treets are small sections of road that fall among other city streets.

“The majority of the roads that (the city) is taking over are streets that the city is basically taking care of anyway,” said Mike Schupp, the Transportation Department engineer who oversees the area containing the streets.

The city is taking control of other streets to make snow removal faster.

These streets include roads near schools, such as a three-mile section of the Route 163 outer roads, also known as Old Highway K. The streets would get quicker snow removal during storms because the city considers local streets a higher priority for plowing and salting than the Transportation Department does.

In the March report to the city that prompted consideration of the project, the Transportation Department suggested the city take control of College Avenue from Business Loop 70 to Stadium Boulevard. But officials have rejected the suggestion, saying the stretch of road is simply too long.

Schupp said the Transportation Department understands this concern.

“College Avenue is too much for the city,” Schupp said. “We understand that the city doesn’t want to take (control of) that.”

Cost of the project is hard to estimate.

Columbia Public Works spokeswoman Jill Stedem wrote in an e-mail, “There is no actual cost associated with the city taking over these 12 street sections. MoDOT is taking care of getting them up to city standards before we take them over.”

But after the city takes over the streets, it will have to take over the costs of paying staff salaries, road maintenance and the most costly part of street maintenance, snow removal.

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