The City Council approved a roundabout at the intersection of Vandiver Drive and Parker Street on Monday night.
The project will cost $900,000, and construction is expected to begin in summer 2019, according to a city memo. The roundabout is in response to safety concerns about the current intersection, council members said.
Second Ward City Councilman Michael Trapp said there has been outspoken public support for the project.
"Everyone would like to see it move as quickly as possible," Trapp said.
Businesses, such as Columbia Honda and Veterans United, have a particular interest in the roundabout because they operate in the area.
"It is a dangerous intersection," said Danny Hammack, a managing partner of Columbia Honda. "I have gone as far as to instruct our staff not to turn left to get out of our parking lot."
The current four-way intersection has a single lane on Parker Street that goes in each direction as well as a through lane and a left turn lane on Vandiver Drive in each direction, according to the memo. There is also a two-way stop on Parker Street.
Fourteen reported crashes have occurred at the intersection from Jan. 1, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2015. Six of those involved injury reports. A roundabout would reduce conflict points and control the speed and flow of traffic better than the current intersection, according to the memo.
The roundabout would also accommodate larger commercial vehicles and school buses, according to the memo.
Funding will come from the 2018 county road tax rebate and the 0.25 percent capital improvement sales tax. Routine maintenance will cost $2,000.
Also, construction of a landfill cell for $5.5 million and waste discharge collection and storage facility at the Columbia Landfill for $560,000 was approved as well.
These expenses are not expected to significantly change the annual landfill operations budget, according to a city memo.
There are five other cells for trash, and the one being used is expected to reach intermediate capacity in October 2017. At this point, trash will be placed on top of the other four cells until construction of the new cell is complete, according to a city memo.
The current five cells have the leachate system, which collects discharge from waste and disposes of it as needed. This system would also be installed in the new cell.
The area where the cell is going to be constructed is the last permitted area on the landfill’s property. There is a total of 720 acres of land on the property and 91 acres can be used for trash.
Construction of the cell and the leachate system will be completed as one project. The new cell would be expected to reach intermediate capacity within five years. The space has about 14 years of capacity left, according to the memo.
Some council members said that this should motivate the city to seek alternatives to dispose of waste.
"We need to reduce our waste streams and become good stewards of the land," Councilmember Karl Skala said.
The new cell will be funded by special obligation bonds and the collection and storage facility will be funded by the solid waste enterprise funds