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Columbia City Council to discuss possible improvements to Forum Boulevard


Columbia City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday for the approval of a project that will improve Forum Boulevard.

The project to improve Forum Boulevard began in 2015 after a quarter-cent sales tax proposition allocated funds for capital improvement projects. Monday's public hearing will discuss for construction on Forum Boulevard between Chapel Hill Road and Woodrail Avenue.

According to the city council memo, it is recognized that Forum Boulevard has many existing businesses, residential areas, a stream crossing, natural resources, and trees. All of those variables will addressed in the early design features for the proposed improvements.

The estimated budget for the improvement project $12.3 million with constructed projected to begin summer of 2026.

The city hired a Columbia-based engineering consulting firm to provide planning and design for the improvement project.

The design will include a new driving lane in both north and southbound directions, a bike lane and sidewalk along each side of the roadway, and either replace or improve the existing bridge over Hinkson Creek. The city hopes these improvements will quicken emergency response times. To help with traffic and safety, the design inserts roundabouts at Katy Lane and at Woodrail/Crestwood.

The design plans were gathered after a traffic study of the area and collecting data in November 2022. The study was used to survey the existing traffic movements along Forum Boulevard and predict future traffic patterns.

Olivia Sims works in one of the several business along Forum Boulevard. She said these improvements would help.

"I feel like the adding or the expanding, forum would help me a lot personally, especially when things get busy, like during rush hour and whatnot," Sims said. "It can get, you know, especially with all the lights up and down the street. it can get pretty backed up just from my experience and from what I've noticed. So yeah, I feel like definitely the expansion would probably help that problem a lot as well."

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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Jazsmin Halliburton


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