Construction in Columbia Coming to a Road Near You

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COLUMBIA - Three road projects began throughout the city of Columbia Monday.

The three construction sites are Old Plank Road between Forum Blvd. and Bethel St, the South 8th Street sidewalk between Cherry and Locust, and the Alley between Broadway and Walnut on 10th.

Almost every week Columbians are warned about street and sidewalk closings from Columbia Public Works. Many times the road closings and lane restrictions come as a result of repaving, sidewalk and sewer repair, or construction on buildings. 

Road closures are now common because the city has more than $2 million to spend on repairs. In 2012, the city ran into a surplus with its budget, and Columbia is reaping the benefits.

While some may view the closures as an annoyance, Steven Sapp, Public Information Specialist for Columbia Public Works, said the closures are positive for the city of Columbia.

"We think it's a good thing that these road projects are taking place," Sapp said. "It is going to be beneficial for everybody because we are going to see shorter commute times, less time waiting in traffic, and we are going to see better road surfaces because of it."

Sapp said the main reason we're seeing so much construction right now, is crews are trying to get it all in before winter. Concrete can be set in colder weather, but in order for asphalt to be set, warmer weather is necessary.

In the next few weeks Columbians can expect to be slowed down by road closures, but roads should be in much better condition in time for winter weather.

The city urges drivers to be patient with the road closures, and if possible wants people to find alternative routes in order to ensure the safety of construction workers and drivers.

(Editor's Note: This story has been edited to clarify the locations of the street closures)