Clark Lane Construction Confounds Drivers

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COLUMBIA - Drivers lined up Thursday in 100-degree heat, working their way through the first phase of construction at Clark Lane they said is making their trips to and from work or school longer and more dangerous. 

"Well, I find right now that if I leave to go to class, I have to leave about 10 minutes earlier just because there's some people who don't really know there's construction going on over there so they go off the road into where the construction is and kind of cause backups, " two-year Grantwood Village resident Annica Russo said.

Russo said the change in speed limit from 45 to 35 miles per hour also surprises drivers in that area who haven't adjusted to the construction yet. 

The completion of phase one will ultimately lead to phase two: the creation of a dual lane roundabout. Designers say will help the flow of traffic in the congested area--especially when Battle High School is completed next year.  

"That's an ususual intersection out there," said city councilman Gary Kespohl. "It's not true north, south, east, and west. It goes at funny angles."

Kespohl said that's what "makes it a perfect intersection for a roundabout."

However, Russo said she's not so sure. "I feel like roundabouts kind of slow people down a lot or they don't really follow the rules of the roundabout and there's a lot more accidents."

Phase two will begin pending approval at a public hearing in September.