Completed Boulevard Could Bring More Jobs

6 years 7 months 3 weeks ago November 29, 2010 Nov 29, 2010 Monday, November 29 2010 Monday, November 29, 2010 6:03:26 PM CST in News
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COLUMBIA- Drivers officially welcomed a new road Monday. Maguire Boulevard now connects Lemone Industrial Boulevard with Stadium Boulevard. Officials at Regional Economical Development Inc. said the project will not only relieve traffic in the area, but will also create opportunities for new jobs and expansions of current businesses.

"There were a few empty lots in the Lemone Industrial Park, but they were in the back corner," REDI vice president Bernie Andrews said. "But now that the bridge is going through, there are some lots that are right by one for the bridges that now have basically dual access, and that makes them much more attractive to development."

Business owners in the area agree that traffic used to be very congested in the business park next to the old Maguire Boulevard.
The owner of Perry/Legend Collision Repair said traffic was especially congested at the start and end of every work day when employees in the surrounding industrial park were all leaving from one entrance.

"We had 3,600 people working in the park," owner Bill Rajewski said. "One way in, one way out."

He said the new road has already helped fix this problem, even though it has only been open for a few days.

Another business in the park, OATS, is a public transportation system, often taking Missourians to doctors appointments all over Columbia. Officials said the additional entrance has already helped their business run more smoothly.

"We've seen a marked improvement in the ability for our drivers to be on-time in their pick-ups," Jack Heusted said.

The city used a combination of special road district taxes, capital improvement sales taxes, and capital fund balances to build the road. Developers also contributed to the project funds. The Maguire Boulevard expansion cost $6.9 million. The expansion also includes two bridges over Grindstone Creek, complete with sidewalks and bike lanes.

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