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Columbia City Council may repeal Providence Road project

By Gigi Mann, Reporter, gigim@kmiz.com
Published On: Apr 09 2013 07:07:33 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 09 2013 08:14:43 PM CDT
Providence Road project
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

A plan to ease traffic at one of Columbia's busiest intersections is hitting another road block.

The project on Providence Road near the University of Missouri campus was approved last year, but the new city council could vote to rescind it on Monday.

Some on the new council are considering pulling the plan because some council members want to save two homes that would have to be demolished should the current plan continue.

Others believe the project still has to be done to make the road safer.

Everyday, dozens of Mizzou students dodge traffic and try to cross Providence Road to get to and from campus.

"What is it going to take? One of those kids hitting the car, one of the cars turning out to get into a bad accident?" asked Robbie Price, president of the Grasslands Neighborhood Association.

A plan to alleviate traffic was set in place last November, but because it involves tearing down two houses, the new city council  may repeal it.

"The removal of those was always a big sticking point and the price tag," said Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes.

Matthes says it would cost nearly $7 million to go ahead with the plan to build an access road and turn lanes to the busy intersection. More than 81,000 vehicles go through the Providence Road and Stadium Boulevard intersection and the city says the volume of traffic is increasing.

Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe says the plan has been talked about for the seven years she has been on the council and she wants to hear more from the public on how to move forward.

"We've talked about so many options through the year and that the major players have come to some agreement, whether tweaking that and to the Grasslands' benefit also," said Hoppe.

The Grasslands Neighborhood Association president says the plan needs to keep its current course.

"I think they got it right the first time and are now backtracking," said Price.

Price says the two homes are not historic and need to be demolished in order to expand Providence. He told ABC 17 News that the neighborhood will have a vote by this weekend to see what the residents feel should be done.

About half of the city council members told ABC 17 News Tuesday that they are leaning toward repealing the current plan to save the homes. They also will take into consideration what the public wants during a hearing before voting on Monday, April 15.

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