The City of Columbia Public Works Department's Capital Improvement Program (CIP) seeks to improve street safety through a Vision Zero approach to project design and construction. All projects pass through a public involvement process, which includes conducting neighborhood meetings, asking for public feedback on proposed plans and having public hearings before City Council approval.
"We're very enthusiastic about this year's capital improvement projects," Public Works Director David Nichols said. "Projects are planned in a way to ensure the safety of workers during construction and to cause the least amount of traffic disruption as possible. Above all, once completed, these construction projects will greatly enhance road safety for our community members and visitors."
Public Works also asks that motorists slow down when entering work zones. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training, 532 construction workers were killed at road construction sites in the United States between 2011 and 2016, which is "more than double the total for all other industries combined." About half of road construction site fatalities were due to being struck by a vehicle or mobile equipment.
Three roundabouts funded through the voter-approved 2015 Capital Improvement Sales Tax ballot are currently planned at busy intersections in Columbia this year to increase safety and improve traffic flow.
- Forum and Green Meadows: This roundabout will be a partial dual-lane roundabout constructed at the intersection of Forum and Green Meadows in Ward 5. The estimated investment is $1.2 million. Two interested parties meetings were held on April 28, 2016 and June 27, 2017, followed by a public hearing on Sept. 6, 2016 and a second public hearing with final approval on Sept. 5, 2017.
- Nifong and Old Mill Creek: This roundabout will be initially constructed as a single-lane roundabout, expandable to a partial dual-lane roundabout, at the intersection of Nifong and Old Mill Creek Road in Ward 5. Vawter School Road and Country Wood Road also intersect at this roundabout. The estimated investment is $1.2 million. (A second roundabout will be constructed in the summer of 2020 at the intersection of Nifong and Sinclair Street.) An interested parties meeting was held on June 20, 2017, followed by a public hearing and final approval on Oct. 17, 2017.
- Keene and I-70 Drive Southeast: This roundabout will be a single-lane roundabout constructed at the intersection of Keene Street and I-70 Drive Southeast in Ward 3. The estimated investment is $832,000, with 50 percent of the funding from a Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) cost-share program. An interested parties meeting was held on March 15, 2016, followed by a public hearing and final approval on Feb. 5, 2018.
Two sidewalk projects funded through the 2015 Capital Improvement Sales Tax ballot are currently planned this year to increase safety for pedestrians and nonmotorized transportation users.
- Carter Lane Sidewalk: A concrete sidewalk with integral curb will be constructed on the east side of Carter Lane from Foxfire Drive to Huntridge Drive in Ward 6. The estimated investment is $161,800 with partial funding from MoDOT's Transportation Alternatives Program. An interested parties meeting was held on Sept. 6, 2017, followed by a public hearing and final approval on June 18, 2018.
- Lynn-Oak-Sexton Sidewalks: Concrete sidewalks will be constructed to fill in the sidewalk gaps on Lynn Street, Oak Street and Sexton Road in Ward 1. The estimated investment is $213,000 with partial funding from a Community Development Block Grant. An interested parties meeting was held on Nov. 15, 2016, followed by a public hearing and final approval on Aug. 7, 2017.
OTHER CIP PROJECTS
Other Capital Improvement Program projects currently planned for this year are:
- Third Avenue Alley: The construction of a 10-foot-wide asphalt pavement within the alley right-of-way of Third Avenue (between Garth Avenue and Grand Avenue) will improve access to the properties along each side of the alley in Ward 1. The estimated investment is $150,000 with funding from the 2015 Capital Improvement Sales Tax ballot and the Transportation Sales Tax. An interested parties meeting was held on Feb. 21, 2019 with a public hearing for final approval scheduled for April 1, 2019.
- Ballenger Lane: The construction of 6-foot-wide shoulders along Ballenger Lane, from Ria Street to Mexico Gravel Road, will provide a safer path for nonmotorized community members in Ward 3. The widening of the pavement will provide a thoroughfare for pedestrians, bicyclists and other nonmotorized transportation users. Existing sidewalks from neighboring subdivisions will also be connected to the new shoulders. The estimated investment is $2.2 million with funding from the 2015 Capital Improvement Sales Tax ballot. An interested parties meeting was held on June 13, 2017, followed by a public hearing and final approval on Dec. 18, 2017.
- Shepard to Rollins Trail: A 10-foot-wide concrete trail, starting at the east end of Rollins Street, crossing Hinkson Creek and connecting at the Bluffdale Drive cul-de-sac, will provide nonmotorized transportation access for students to the University of Missouri-Columbia campus in Ward 6. An additional trail connecting to Stadium Boulevard and the Hinkson Creek Trail will also be completed by Columbia Parks and Recreation. (For more information about the Hinkson Creek Trail connection visit CoMo.gov/parksandrec/trail.) Together the two trail projects will provide an important link in the north-south section of the 30-mile trail loop around Columbia, allowing residents north of I-70 access to the MKT Trail, the University campus and downtown Columbia. The estimated investment for the trail connection completed by Columbia Public Works is $1.74 million with funding from the 2012 Federal Highway Administration's Non-Motorized Transportation (GetAbout) grant. Public Works conducted an interested parties meeting on Nov. 15, 2016, followed by a public hearing and final Council approval on Aug. 7, 2017.
Three traffic calming projects funded through annual street calming funds are currently planned on streets identified by the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program (NTMP). Each year, new streets are added to the NTMP by community members who complete a neighborhood petition among other steps. Traffic engineers from the Public Works Department then evaluate the streets by conducting traffic studies and ranking the streets using factors such as speed, volume, bike routes, crash history and proximity to schools. All calming projects must pass through the City's public involvement process and be approved by the City Council before construction can begin.
- Rain Forest Parkway: Two speed tables and one speed hump will be constructed on Rain Forest Parkway, between Providence Road and Range Line Street, in Ward 2. The speed tables will be installed at Panther Drive and Crocodile Drive. The speed hump will be installed west of Monsoon Lane. The estimated investment is $50,000. Two interested parties meetings were held on May 14, 2018 and Sept. 5, 2018, followed by a public hearing and final approval on Feb. 4, 2019. Rain Forest Parkway was No. 5 on the 2017 NTMP score sheet.
- Primrose Drive: Two speed tables and two speed hump are planned on Primrose Drive, between Stadium Boulevard and Sunflower Street, in Ward 2. The speed tables are proposed to be installed at Rose Drive and Garden Drive. One speed hump is planned between Garden Drive and Gus Court and the other between Gus Court and Rashid Court. The estimated investment is $50,000. Two interested parties meetings were held on Oct. 2, 2018 and Feb. 11, 2019, with a public hearing for final approval scheduled for April 15, 2019. Primrose Drive was No. 4 on the 2017 NTMP score sheet.
- William Street: The public involvement process is still ongoing for calming features between Broadway and Rollins Street in Ward 6. The estimated investment is $50,000. An interested parties meeting was held on May 2, 2018. A second interested parties meeting to review preliminary plans and gather public input, as well as a public hearing for final approval, will be scheduled this spring or summer. William Street was No. 3 on the 2017 NTMP score sheet.
Two additional traffic calming projects that are not part of the NTMP are also planned for this year:
- Canterbury Drive, Scottson Way: Prior to roundabout construction at Forum Boulevard and Green Meadows, speed humps and tables will be installed on Canterbury Drive and Scottson Way in Ward 5 to reduce traffic speeds. The estimated investment is $20,000. This project was approved as part of the roundabout project on June 27, 2017.
- Walnut Street: A speed hump will be constructed to complete a calming project started last year in Ward 3 when a flashing beacon was installed. The estimated investment for the speed hump, which will be located west of Melbourne Street, is $5,000 funded through annual traffic safety funds. An interested parties meeting was held on Aug. 8, 2018, followed by a public hearing and final approval on Nov. 5, 2018.
Motorists, pedestrians, and nonmotorized transportation users are urged to use extreme caution when entering a workzone for their own safety and for the safety of workers. For more information about individual projects, including updates throughout the year, visit CoMo.gov/PublicWorks/Engineering.