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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • County wants more complete incident bypass route

  • Phelps County Commissioners said Tuesday that a more complete incident bypass route around the interstate within the county may be one of their priorities they hope will be included in a future Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).
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  • Phelps County Commissioners said Tuesday that a more complete incident bypass route around the interstate within the county may be one of their priorities they hope will be included in a future Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).
    At Tuesday's commission meeting, District One Commissioner Larry Stratman asked the other two commissioners to start thinking about a prioritized list of transportation projects in Phelps County.
    The top three priorities for Phelps County will be combined with the top three priorities from each of the other seven counties in the Meramec region to be considered at the Meramec Regional Planning Commission's Transportation Advisory Committee's meeting in December.
    There, the committee hopes to develop a regional list of transportation priorities. The goal is to develop a list that could potentially be included on the STIP.
    For several years, the expansions of U.S. Highways 63 and 50 to four-lane corridors remain the top priorities for transportation needs in the Meramec region.
    Last year, the Phelps County Commission recommended building a continuous outer road north of Interstate 44 from Highway 63 to Route V, which ended up being tied for No. 18 on the overall prioritization list for the region.
    An outer road would provide a bypass route if the interstate were to be closed for an accident or other emergencies.
    The south outer road that partially follows Martin Springs Drive in Rolla and continues along Old Route 66 to Doolittle is an incident bypass route, but along this stretch is a one-lane bridge, which Stratman feels needs to be replaced.
    Stratman said the idea to complete a north outer road from Route V to Highway 63 near Northwye has caught the attention of Preston Kramer, area engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
    However, improvements to the south outer road west of Rolla, including the one-lane bridge, is on nobody's radar, Stratman said.
    In other business
    • Also at Tuesday's commission meeting, the commission agreed to seek bids for a health insurance carrier for 2014. The county switched carriers at the beginning of this year to United HealthCare. While the county is not required, commissioners agreed to seek bids because they want to see what rates will be offered with the Affordable Care Act going into effect.
    Sheran Ashby, the county's insurance broker, said she would begin the bidding process Tuesday and could have bids for the commission to review by Nov. 1.
    • Commissioners approved a floodplain development permit for Lee and Linda Hatfield.

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