The city of Columbia is pouring millions of dollars into a road to make it safer.Scott Boulevard in southwest Columbia will be expanded this fall.City leaders say the change is necessary at a meeting Tuesday afternoon at City Hall. Public Works Director John Glascock said this may prevent people from speeding and passing other cars where currently there’s only one lane on each side of the traffic. The city expanded a portion of Scott Blvd. between Broadway and Brookview Terrace a few years ago. That first phase included adding a lane to each side of the traffic and adding brick medians and more lighting to a 2.2-mile stretch of Scott Blvd., costing the city about $16 million, according to Columbia Public Works spokesman Steven Sapp. Phase II would be to expand the roadway to four lanes from Brookview Terrace to Vawter School Road — only a half-mile stretch, but is projected to cost about $5.9 million. Other parts of the project will include a new roundabout at the intersection by Vawter School Road, where currently there’s a three-way stop and yield signs for right turn lanes to go north and south. The idea is to get traffic moving smoother, said Glascock, who added that the new roundabout will help connect other parts of the city to downtown faster. The project may take up to a-year-and-a-half to complete and the funds will come from capital improvements and transportation sales tax that Columbia residents voted for in 2005, said Glascock. City Manager Mike Matthes and Boone County Commissioners also talked about the possibility of expanding lanes on Scott Blvd. further south to State Hwy KK, where parts of it lies in the county/city boundaries. The main reason is because Columbia Public Schools may decide to build a new elementary at the corner of Scott Blvd. and Route KK, but currently does not have the road infrastructure to support that. City officials say they are looking ahead and have a portion of the money secured to start a possible Phase III of the project, if they can get $12 million in funding to start construction in 2015-2016.
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