Highway Plans Raise Concern
Phase one is already underway. The goal is to help make Highway 50 more commuter-friendly. Phase two has hit a rocky road; the city of California sent a letter to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) citing some concerns.
"It consisted of some needed improvements to our current intersection, 50 and 87, and the lack of access to our town after the project is completed," said California mayor Norris Gerhart.
The area is too tight for eighteen wheelers to make turns safely. When they turn, they have to do it slowly, and that slow turn blocks the traffic.
California's needs have a price tag, more than the $87 million budget can allow.
"If you look at everything they asked for, I would estimate that it might be in the range of about $15 million worth of work," said Roger Schwartze of MoDOT. "So, it's certainly not something we could do, and that's why I said we were a little surprised by all of the things they asked for."
"What is currently now jacket factory road, which is a gravel road, we feel, as, the commissioners and the city feel that road needs to be black-top surfaced. It needs to be access into our city," said Gerhart.
For now, access into California is still on a two lane highway. City officials and MoDOT plan to hold a closed meeting on June 27 to work out more of the details.