Avenue of the Columns streetscape project to begin phase three

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COLUMBIA - Phase three of the Avenue of the Columns streetscape project will be one of the many items discussed during a public hearing at the city council meeting Tuesday evening.

Phase three of the project includes reconstruction of sidewalks on Eighth Street from the south side of Walnut Street to the north side of Cherry Street, closure of any vaults under the sidewalks and removal of the canopy on the east side of the Eighth and Walnut Plaza garage.

Supporting documentation also shows that the existing traffic signals at the intersection of Walnut and Eighth streets will be removed and a stop sign will be installed on Walnut Street.

Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser said the Avenue of the Columns has a lot of historical significance in Columbia and designed to be pedestrian friendly.

"I think it's certainly a project that's worthwhile," Nauser said. "It will certainly give visitors an opportunity to enjoy their stay in Columbia as well as local residents."

 Nauser said there is not a set date on when phase three of the project will begin or end due to the many components involved.

 "There's a lot of pieces to this project. Both private sector and public sector," Nauser said. 

She also said that although residents may have to deal with more congested streets or have to alter their path to and from work, it would be short-lived and not too burdensome.

The estimated cost for phase three is exactly $750,000 and will be funded by 2010 Enterprise Revenue Funds. Phase one of the street scape project was the building of City Hall and phase two of the project was completed in 2012.