Stadium Construction Causes Disruption for Drivers
COLUMBIA - Construction crews are all over Stadium Boulevard to complete as much construction as possible fore the holiday shopping season. However, some mid-Missouri drivers and local employers are worried crews aren't taking enough time to put driver safety and convenience first.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) began the road's project discussion in 1997, according to MoDOT Project Manager Mike Dusenberg. Originally serving as a two-lane farm-to-market corridor, Stadium Boulevard has expanded in just the past decade from carrying around 33,000 vehicles to more than 36,000 per day in its busiest corridor.
Hardee's supervisor Christy Sapp said she thinks the increase in traffic is wonderful for business and leaves high hopes for her restaraunt, but the construction is a huge inconvenience right now.
"I don't like it," said Sapp. "I've lived in Columbia about 25 years of my life, and I've dealt with this kind of construction for so long. I just hate it."
Hardee's itself is a prime location for construction, located at the corner of Worley Street and Stadium Boulevard. Sapp said the construction is keeping her restaurant from making its sales goals.
"I hate the mess at all the intersections," Sapp said. "We've almost had two accidents just today because of the cluster. We want to become the best in our market, and right now, we just can't."
Michael Reeves, a frequent Columbia visitor from Paris, Mo., said he believes the Worley Street area is also where his car picked up a couple of screws big enough for construction work.
"To have time taken out of your day because of a flat tire is annoying, especially when I am visiting my daughter," Reeves said. "I don't know if there is a solution—things happen. [Crews] are doing their job, and I am sure it's all going to be for the best. People just have to be patient."
Dusenberg, who's also worked on the I-70 diverging diamond interchange, said MoDOT's first priority is driver safety.
"We have to make sure the people driving our roads go home safe every night," said Dusenberg. "I want to stress to the public going through all of our work zones in mid-Missouri be vigilant, watch the signing carefully, drive at a reasonable speed, be patient and be cautious about what's going on."
Dusenberg said Emery Sapp and Sons, Inc., is the company specifically reponsible for the construction along Stadium Boulevard and the interchange.
Dusenberg said island constructions, gardening and other small improvements have yet to be completed. The official completion date is set for early fall of 2014.