MoDOT Takes Over Rangeline Renovations
Traffic noise on Rangeline Road is familiar to local business owners.
"Let's face it, the traffic is terrible," owner Cris Burham said.
Terrible enough to deserve a complete renovation.
"It's just a very busy road. There are a lot of businesses out there and a lot of traffic and it's just overloaded right now," said Columbia City Council member Brian Ash.
Planned changes on Range Line stretch from Big Bear Boulevard to Highway 63. After MoDOT finishes its designs for Range Line, the next step is for the state to buy property along the road. When the $30 million project gets underway, crew will have to push back things like mailboxes and signs to make room for four more lanes of traffic. But it's not just the traffic that's the problem.
"Where we ran into problems is the city was wanting a number of things added to the project which was over our budget amount," explained MoDOT's Roger Schwartze.
Columbia's plans are $4 million over MoDOT's budget, but the City Council still gave it the green light.
"It needs to get going. It's beyond time to get started on this," Ash added.
And finish the road to renovation that's been full of compromises.
The extra $4 million could come from tax development districts, property owners' land donations and state grants. According to MoDOT, at least 20,000 cars travel this road everyday, so the additional lanes will help traffic flow.
Construction was supposed to start in 2007 but will be delayed. MoDOT says Columbia took longer than expected to approve a final plan.