Proposal to Widen Busy Road
The Boone County Commission and the Columbia City Council held the first joint public hearing on plans Monday tonight. A large crowd turned up at the meeting concerned about the proposed changes. Although most who attended the meeting seem pleased with the plans, a few residents expressed concerns that a widened Scott Boulevard could mean a drop in property values.
Scott Boulevard is a busy stretch of road, and not only during rush hour. That's why Columbia is proposing to widen it from two to four lanes between Rollins Road and Brookview Terrace, which is about two miles of new road.
"It's a partnership project to try to improve safety and capacity," said city manager Bill Watkins. The project began in 2005 when voters agreed to extend capital improvement taxes toward road projects like this one.
"This is a very big community back here. They're building new neighborhoods all the time, so I think it would be beneficial," said Columbia resident Ashley Mester. Residents listened to plans that included their concerns discussed in previous meetings; even city leaders noticed an overall support for the new ideas.
"It looks now like it's in good shape and we'll be able to perform," said Watkins.
If all goes as scheduled, a public hearing with the final plan will be held in about a year. The project is estimated to cost about $12 million. The Columbia City Council and Boone County commissioners will continue to canvas residents for their input.