New road may be key to reducing crashes between Boone, Callaway Counties

3 months 1 day 11 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 1:40:00 PM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
By: Alayna Chapie, KOMU 8 Reporter
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FULTON - In the span of one month, law enforcement responded to nine car crashes on Route F between Boone County and Callaway County.

Three of those crashes happened on the same day, though they were unrelated.

Roger Fischer, Callaway County western district commissioner, wants a new road built. He said the volume of traffic on Route F creates a safety concern for drivers.

In October 2017, Fischer proposed a new road to government officials. He presented them with maps, figures and answered all of their questions.

"Safety and the traffic congestion on Route F is terrible, especially when you go through the Millersburg area," said Fischer. "There's a lot of curves and hills and a lot of those students live on places that are not safe for the school bus to start and stop and back traffic up a quarter of a mile." 

Fischer said the new developments in Ashland and professional/manufacturing buildings being built near Columbia regional airport could create a lot of jobs. Millersburg is also growing with new businesses. This all could lead to congestion on the road. 

"We've got the daycare that's located right in downtown, right in the area of Millersburg, right in those 'S' curves. ESS just opened up a new ready mix plant just south of 70, at the interstate 70 and route J exit. You got Christiansen Construction on the north side who does the Christiansen asphalt plant," said Fischer. "There are hundreds of trucks everyday to these two customers and they return back on that [Route F] empty." 

One Fulton resident agreed the road can be dangerous. 

"People don't want to take the time, you know they ride your bumper or they pass on the double line," said Vickie Anderson.

Fischer said funding is a major obstacle to making any changes. He told KOMU 8 he spoke with MODOT regional engineer, Mike Schupp, who told Fischer that it is not a priority to fix Route F, and the funding wasn't there. 

Callaway County will ask taxpayers to approve a tax in November. This tax will give money to MODOT to maintain all the roads and bridges in Missouri.

The money from the tax will not go directly to any Route F changes. But Fischer said this would mean MODOT has more money and Fulton could potentially see some of that money put toward the new road. 

"I think it's important that people understand that we need to get a tax base set up for the state so that they can maintain there roads and bridges and look at projects like a new road from Fulton to Columbia. I think that's something we should make a priority," said Fischer.

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