City says College Avenue pedestrian safety project on track

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COLUMBIA - The College Avenue Safety Enhancement Project, designed to make crossing the busy Columbia road safer, is on track to begin this summer, Columbia Public Works spokesperson Steven Sapp said. This comes after a driver hit an MU student crossing College Avenue Thursday.

Sapp said said the city is putting the finishing touches on the design, which includes barriers and specialized pedestrian signals called "HAWK signals". He said construction should begin in mid-to-late-May. 

"We plan to start this project in the 2015 construction season," Sapp said. "We don't want to start the project, of course, until after the university has released classes."

Sapp said the project, which will be carried out by the city using MoDOT funds, should be finished before MU begins classes in the fall. 

"Our goal is to have it complete or substantially complete by August, when students at the university return for classes," Sapp said.

MU Police Capt. Brian Weimer said the police department continues to encourage pedestrians to cross at crosswalks and intersections.

"The most important thing is to pay attention to things around you," said Weimer. "Drivers need to be alert to everything around them, along with pedestrians. Don't be burying your head in a cellphone." 

Read more about the College Avenue Safety Enhancement Project on the City of Columbia's website.