Conley Road Extension Still Not Finished

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COLUMBIA - Residents in Columbia are starting to wonder when the Conley Road extension, which is intended to decrease traffic at the I-70 and U.S. 63 interchange, will be finished.

In 2009 the Conley Road Transportation Development District, or TDD, approached the Columbia Country Club about extending Conley Road to go through a portion of its golf course. Club President Jean Leonatti said the country club did its part by moving the golf course back, but the road has yet to be built.

The golf course had to shut down its back nine holes last July and its front nine in September. The front nine just reopened earlier this month, but the back nine are still closed.

"We've done our part, we're not holding up construction at all, but I still haven't heard any plans for when they are going to build the road," Leonatti said.

In fact, no one knows when the road is going to be finished. KOMU 8 News talked to both city and state officials and neither knew about the projects time line for completion. One Missouri Department of Transportation official said the man in charge of designing the road hopes the construction will begin in the next few months, but no one from the Conley Road TDD group was able to confirm that statement.

Robert Hollis is the attorney who represents the Conley Road TDD. He was unable to comment on when construction might begin, but said he would be attending a meeting Wednesday morning to discuss just that.

Columbia residents that deal with the traffic on the I-70 and U.S. 63 interchange said they are ready for a road to be built to bypass the traffic.

"I always have to leave myself a ton of extra time to get to work because sometimes you get stuck at these lights for a long time," said Elizabeth Gergian.

The Conley Road TDD has imposed an additional half cent sales tax at the stores on Conley Road such as Walmart, Hyvee and Sam's Club to pay for the Conley Road extension.

"I think if they are using tax payers dollars they should do a better job at telling us what their plan is and be a little more accountable about getting this road done," Gergian said.

The planned extension would connect Conley Road and East Boulevard.

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