Construction on Columbia's "Bike Boulevard" begins this week

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COLUMBIA – Bicyclists in Columbia will soon have a safer riding route.

The city’s Bike Boulevard will connect the MKT Trail near Lathrop Road to Business Loop 70. The project will give bicyclists designated bike lanes along the streets in the bike boulevard's route.

Columbia Public Works’ Public Information Officer Barry Dalton said the city aims to improve bicyclist’s safety.

“Those markings will constantly remind motorists to be on the lookout for bicyclists and other non-motorized transportation users,” Dalton said.

He said the project will also include the installation of crosswalks near Hickman High School and a center median island with flashing pedestrian beacons at the intersection of Broadway and Aldeah Avenue.

Crews plan to work on the project in the evenings, and Dalton said he expects very few delays for drivers from the construction.

According to the city, the project will cost more than $600,000. Two grants from the Federal Highway Administration will help fund the bike boulevard.

Kris Johnson bikes through this area often and said he’s looking forward to the new route.

“I have to limit myself to bike in areas that have the bike lanes, so I’m ready for more of them show up around town,” Johnson said.

The city plans to have the bike boulevard finished by late summer or early fall, according to Dalton.