COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Missouri Department of Transportation heard from residents during a public hearing on a proposed project for the Route 63 and Grindstone Parkway interchange.
Nearby residents and businesses attended the open house to ask questions and voice concerns about the new project from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at New Haven Elementary School on Thursday.
The MoDOT project manager Zach Osman says the east ramp they are looking to improve has about 10,000 to 12,000 cars using it. "It's just not made for that as of today," Osman says. "So we needed to do something."
MoDOT says they are considering improvements to enhance safety for all users. Some improvements they are considering include: expanding traffic capacity on the east side of the interchange, improving access for pedestrians and bicyclists, and removing the commuter lot on the southeast corner of the interchange.
MoDOT says the project is scheduled to begin sometime in early 2024 and be completed by the spring of 2025. They estimate the project will cost between $8 and $9 million.
MoDOT needs 15 acres to start the project and will soon begin negotiations with property owners. Osman says they will use only five to six of those acres permanently. It will use the majority of the land temporarily.
Kent Kirkwood, the Executive Director of residential district Lenoir Woods, says his residents are excited for the updates. He says that in terms of the construction creating more traffic.
"The pros outweigh the cons," says Kirkwood because when it's completed, the area will be a lot safer.
According to the department, the right-of-way plans will be released later this summer. They encourage residents to submit comments on the project website until Sunday, June 19.