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Columbia City Council moves forward with $670,000 sidewalk project on St. Charles Road


The Columbia City Council on Monday held a public hearing over proposed sidewalk improvements on St. Charles Road between Clark Lane and Demaret Drive. The project is estimated to cost $669,650, according to the council memo.

The proposed project -- which the council voted 4-1 in favor of continuing on Monday night -- would include constructing an 8-foot wide sidewalk and 3-foot green space between the curb and sidewalk spanning from the Clark Lane roundabout to the existing sidewalk at the intersection at Demaret Drive, as well as between Pine Oak Boulevard and Demaret Drive. According to the city, the greenspace and sidewalk would begin at the back of the existing curb. 

“Yes” votes include Ward 3 Councilman Roy Lovelady, Ward 4 Councilman Nick Foster, Ward 6 Councilwoman Betsey Peters and Mayor Barabara Buffaloe. Ward 2 Councilwoman Lisa Meyer voted no.

The project also includes adding a flashing pedestrian signal and crosswalk at Golf Boulevard and reconstructing driveway approaches to tie in with the proposed sidewalk. 

The project would tie into a 2021 project that added an 8-foot wide sidewalk on the east side of the street near the St Charles and Demaret Drive intersection leading to Battle High School. The city says the west end of the proposed project would allow for easier pedestrian access to businesses near the Clark Lane roundabout and connect to sidewalk access for the Hominy Trail. 

Six residents attended an interested-party meeting about the project on March 20. The city says that five written comments were sent in that were “generally in favor of the project.” Most of the public comments revolved around safety. One comment from the interested parties read: 

“This project is most welcome to improve the safety along St. Charles Rd. I bike regularly throughout this area and it is very unsafe.” 

However, not everyone is in favor of the project. Brooke Hassler lives along St. Charles Road and says he attended his first City Council meeting on Monday because he believes the sidewalk is unnecessary. 

"There's already a sidewalk across the road. We don't need one. There are only four houses on the side of the road that they are wanting to put the sidewalk. I know they are wanting to go all the way down to the golf course, which there's one from the golf course to the school which is kind of understandable but we don't need a sidewalk at this side of the road when there's one on the other side. Kids can cross at the crosswalk at the roundabout if they need to," Hassler told ABC 17 before Monday's meeting.

“They should spend that money somewhere else. We don’t need an 8-foot wide sidewalk anyways. Someone must live in the area who golfs and wants to drive their golf cart down there, I’m thinking," Hassler added.

The city anticipates that construction will be underway by the summer of 2025. It would be funded by the quarter-cent Capital Improvement Project sales tax. The Missouri Department of Transportation will also fund 80% of the project cost with the Transportation Alternatives Program funds.

Check back for updates.

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Mitchell Kaminski

Mitchell Kaminski is from Wheaton, Illinois. He earned a degree in sports communication and journalism from Bradley University. He has done radio play-by-play and co-hosts a Chicago White Sox podcast.


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