Route B project

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COLUMBIA-The Missouri Department of Transportation is continuing with a plan to make Route B safer for Columbia residents.

Just Before 6 a.m., Monday morning, Boone County fire crews were called to Route B to tend to a series of head on crashes. One driver was pronounced dead on the scene and the other was brought to the hospital with multiple injuries.

This is not an uncommon occurrence on Route B.

The Missouri State Highway patrol said there were 33 crashes on Route B in 2016. The numbers for 2017 are not in yet. 

MoDOT worked the accident this morning as part of traffic control.

Mike Schupp, aerial engineer for the northern five counties of the central district, had workers at the scene.  

“It appears somebody was passing and hit another vehicle head on,” Schupp said.

Route B is a two-lane road with a traffic volume of about 7,500 cars per day.

Schupp said MoDOT is currently working on a project to put shoulders around Route B.

“It will go all the way from Brown Station Road up to the south city limits of Hallsville,” Schupp said. “It will then pick up on the North city limits and continue all the way to Centralia.

Once that is done they will add a centerline rumble strip to the entire route.

“The rumble strips will help drifting, Schupp said. “If someone driving the vehicle gets sleepy and they cross over they will feel that rumble and it will bring them back.”

Schupp said his office has seen a good deal of accidents on Route B in recent months.

“With the traffic volume and speeds that are going on we sometimes see vehicles that pass quickly and we’ve seen some accident spikes in the past couple of years,” Schupp says.

Schupp said that ultimately most of the accidents fall on the drivers, not the road.

“It’s a road that has a lot of sight distances,” Schupp said. “It’s not like it’s a very curvy road, it’s often time just decision making.”

Schupp estimates the project will go into full force next spring and hopefully be done by July.