Capital improvement projects aim to fix some major Columbia roads

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COLUMBIA - Columbia residents will have a chance to vote on Proposition 1 on Tuesday, which would renew the city's capital improvement tax if passed. The proposition would continue a 1/4-cent sales tax for another 10 years.

The Columbia Public Works Department would use some of the money raised by the tax to repair some major roads in town.

A few of the bigger projects include:

  • Adding two lanes to Nifong Boulevard between S Providence Road and Forum Boulevard
  • Widening Forum Boulevard between Chapel Hill Road and Woodrail Avenue
  • Repairing the road surface of Garth Avenue between Business Loop 70 and Thurman Street
  • Repairing the surface of Walnut Street between College Avenue and Old Highway 63

One public works official said the road widening projects are important to improve traffic flow.

"Those have our highest ADT, average daily traffic," Public Works Assistant Director David Nichols said. "We experience bottlenecks at peak hour times on both of those corridors."

Several residents said they weren't sure what the Capital Improvement Project even was, but others said they were in full support of the proposition. Multiple people said they think the city needs to do something about the quality of Columbia's roads. 

The tax has been in effect since 2005 and Tuesday's vote would just be to maintain the current tax. A full interactive map with brief descriptions of the proposed projects can be found here.

If the proposition fails, the current sales tax would expire at the end of 2015.