The Columbia City Council approved a plan Monday to improve traffic flow along Providence Road near Stadium Boulevard in the city’s Grasslands neighborhood.
In cooperation with the Missouri Department of Transportation, the city will remove the traffic signal at Providence and Rollins Street and will add new traffic signals on Providence at Turner Avenue and at Burnam Road.
Marjo Price has resided in the Grasslands neighborhood for 57 years and said she approves the city’s plan. “The whole issue is safety, and there’s no way we can be safe unless we have lights at Turner and also at Burnam,” Price said.
The city will also add a sidewalk on Burnam between Providence and Birch roads.
Fifth Ward Councilmember Laura Nauser said the sidewalk will benefit the neighborhood by keeping walkers safe. “It will most definitely solve the pedestrian safety for that area,” Nauser said.
The right hand turn lane from southbound Providence onto Stadium will also be extended to Brandon Road.
The city calls this new plan Option VIII-A, and estimates that it will cost $2.1 million. The plan replaces the original two-phase Option IX, the first phase of which the council approved in November and later rescinded in April. Option IX was similar to Option VIII-A, except that it would have cost taxpayers approximately $6.6 million and would have demolished two houses along Providence.
The council was also considering a plan the city called Option X, which many people have called the “do nothing” plan. The council estimated this plan would have cost about $250,000, but it would only have extended the right hand turn lane from southbound Providence onto Stadium.
In other news, the council approved the use of the city’s $326,000 budget surplus from fiscal year 2012 for renovations to the J.W. “Blind” Boone Home on North Fourth Street. The home will receive heating, ventilation, air conditioning and electricity. A new garden will also be built in Tribute to Boone who was a pioneer in ragtime music.