Ballenger Lane Improvements

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COLUMBIA - The heavily traveled road Ballenger Lane has raised concern to homeowners and travelers due to its lack of safety.

Ballenger Lane stretches approximately a mile between two roundabouts in north Columbia.

Pedestrians and bicyclists who travel the road have no place to walk or ride besides on the grass or in the street.

Third ward councilman Karl Skala said the project is long over due.

"It's not really a matter of urgency, it's a matter of neglect. This particular road and Clark Lane, which it funnels into, have been on the block for a long time. There have been requests to improve both of those roads for many years," he said.

The issue made city council's capital improvement list when it was narrowing down a list of projects to begin. The city plans to expand roadways six feet on both sides of Ballenger Lane.

One homeowner who lives along Ballenger who wished to go unnamed said they are grateful for the steps toward improvement.

"This will change the way people commute each day. Not everyone drives a car, so it makes me feel at ease that those who travel differently will be safe along this road."

Skala said he expects construction to start as early as the spring.

The project will cost around $2.2 million and is funded by 2015 capital improvement sales tax. MODOT will contribute $1.8 million to the project cost.

A public hearing for the project has been set for December 18.

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