Columbia drafts additions to Transportation Improvement Program

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COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia wants to add 26 new projects involving roadway, sidewalk and rail-highway improvements to the 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Plan. 

Members of the Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization (CATSO) and representatives from MoDOT met Wednesday afternoon to discuss additions to the program during the 2017 to 2020 fiscal years.

The CATSO Coordinator and Columbia Community Development Director, Tim Teddy, stressed the importance of communication between the groups involved and being transparent with the federal government about the city's revenues and expenditures. He said the government needs the information to give the city the funds it needs for the improvement projects.

CATSO and city planning member Mitch Skov said the meeting was simply to make sure everyone involved was on the same page and said he agrees with the additions.

 "The most important thing and the absolute required thing is that any kind of federal transportation money, from either federal transit or federal highway that we anticipate applying to a project in the next four fiscal years we have to show it. We have to have it in this document or we can not use the federal money for that project," Skov said.

The new projects would cost almost $60 million dollars with a little more than $55 million going towards MoDOT roadway improvement projects. 

The city of Columbia wants to add five projects during the 2017 fiscal year. Projects on Route PP, also known as Ballenger Lane, Discovery Parkway and Nifong Boulevard were added.

The improvements to Route PP will consist of widening the shoulders by five feet. Sidewalks on Ninth and Elm Streets will see improvements and a pedestrian scramble light will be added for safety.

The city also added a project to improve the O'Rear Road railroad crossing.

The proposed draft will be considered for formal adoption at a public hearing on Aug. 25.