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The Columbia City Council is moving forward with a $670,000 sidewalk project on St. Charles Road

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Columbia City Council held a public hearing Monday on proposed sidewalk improvements on St. Charles Road between Clark Lane and Demaret Drive. The project is estimated to cost $669,650, according to the city memo.

The proposed project — which the City Council voted 4-1 in favor Monday night — would include the construction of an 8-foot-wide sidewalk and 4-foot green space between the curb and the sidewalk, extending from the Clark Lane roundabout to the existing sidewalk at the intersection at Demaret Drive, as well as between Pine Oak Boulevard and Demaret Drive. According to the city, the green space and sidewalk would begin at the back of the existing curb.

“Yes” votes include Ward 3 Councilor Roy Lovelady, Ward 4 Councilor Nick Foster, Ward 6 Councilor Betsey Peters and Mayor Barabara Buffaloe. Ward 2 Councilor Lisa Meyer voted no.

The project also includes adding a flashing pedestrian signal and crosswalk on Golf Boulevard and reconstructing the driveway to align with the proposed sidewalk.

The project would join a 2021 project that added an 8-foot-wide sidewalk on the east side of the street near the St Charles and Demaret Drive intersection leading to Battle High School. The city says the western end of the proposed project would allow easier pedestrian access to businesses near the Clark Lane roundabout and connect to sidewalk access for the Hominy Trail.

On March 20, six residents attended an interested party meeting about the project. The city says five written comments were submitted that were “generally in favor of the project.” Most public comments focused on safety. One response from the interested parties stated:

“This project is very welcome to improve safety along St. Charles Rd. I cycle through this area regularly and it is very unsafe.”

However, not everyone is in favor of the project. Brook Hasler lives on St. Charles Road and says he attended his first city council meeting Monday because he doesn’t think the sidewalk is necessary.

“They should spend that money somewhere else,” Hasler told ABC 17 before Monday’s meeting. “We don’t need an 8-foot wide sidewalk anyway. I think there must be someone who lives nearby who plays golf and wants to drive there in their golf cart.”

The city expects construction to start in the summer of 2025. It would be funded by the quarter-cent Capital Improvement Project sales tax. The Missouri Department of Transportation will also finance 80% of the project costs with Transportation Alternatives Program funds.

Check back for updates.