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Major road projects in Jefferson City’s future?

At Thursday’s meeting, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization members talked about their top priorities, which include everything from adding greenways and sidewalks, to another route over the Missouri River.

Three of the biggest changes could be right in the heart of the capital city.

“It’s very congested, traffic will back up if you have an incident, it will back up for miles,” said Jefferson City Transportation planner Alan Morrison.

He is talking about a stretch of road that is familiar to anyone living in the capital city, the Tri-Level at the intersection of Highways 50 and 54.

Constructed in the 60s, it’s known to have it’s share of issues. “It’s just a continuing problem, large vehicles have a problem negotiating it”, Morrison said.

Transportation planner Sonny Sanders said the Tri-Level will likely have to be replaced in the next two decades. For motorists, he said it’s a common concern.

“It may have to do with poor signage, lack of signage, or not understanding how to get from one point to another. It is confusing, it is old,” Sanders said.

The Whitton Expressway is another top project. MoDOT has already done several studies to alleviate traffic congestion between Dix Road and Clark Avenue.

Some of the possibilities include elevating Highway 50, or building overpasses for streets like Madison and Missouri Boulevard.

A little further down Highway 50, one project is already under way.

It’s the new overpass on Lafayette.

“Plans are under way in terms of some of the preliminary work. They’ve acquired some right of way, this summer they’re going to acquire more right of way, and finish up the final project design plan,” Sanders said.

The Lafayette project will cost taxpayers about $14 million.

The organization plans to hold a public meeting for input sometime in late April or early May.

MoDOT has the final say in all of these possible projects.

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