Traffic Control Begins on Scott Boulevard

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COLUMBIA - Police officers will direct traffic at the intersections of Chapel Hill and Limerick and at  Chapel Hill and Fairview from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday. The traffic control will continue weekdays until June 1. These intersections have carried increasingly severe traffic due to the closure of Scott Boulevard at Hinkson Creek.

Columbia Public Works Information Specialist Steven Sapp said the cost for these officers is not expected to exceed $12,000. He said this amount will be paid out of project contingency funds.

"After we saw where the main traffic pinch points were and developed this plan, it kind of falls in line to what we would expect to pay for this type of service," Sapp said. 

Columbia Police Department Sgt. Curtis Perkins said two officers are being paid overtime to do this. He said this is not affecting the department's staffing levels where officers would not be able to respond to emergency service calls.

The traffic is due to bridge construction on Scott Boulevard. Sapp said this project is costing the city $5.9 million.

Columbia Public Works implemented these measures after conducting a study two weeks ago that revealed measures like this could reduce traffic wait time.

Some other measures the city is taking include limiting drivers to right turns only in and out of the Missouri Athletic Center on Forum Boulevard. The city is also encouraging drivers to make a U-turn at Forum Boulevard and Shoreside. The city has also painted left hand turn lanes for east and westbound traffic on Chapel Hill and Fairview.

Some drivers who use this route have voiced their support for the measures on the KOMU 8 Facebook page. Bobby Renick commented, "I especially liked seeing the cops out there directing traffic! For two reasons; traffic actually flowed and never got backed up and it was good to see them being useful for a change."

Leslie Owen Korte also supported the measures and commented, "This is my regular route and yes, they are helping."