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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Council asked to submit lists of priorities for MoDOT

  • Five transportation priorities picked from a Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) list were shared with the Rolla City Council Monday night by City Administrator John Butz.
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  • Five transportation priorities picked from a Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) list were shared with the Rolla City Council Monday night by City Administrator John Butz.
    Butz said he had selected the five projects in conjunction with a meeting he and other city staffers attended recently with the Phelps County Commission, a Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) staff member and Preston Kramer, the area engineer for MoDOT.
    "There is no easy way to review the proposed list in detail without a special meeting, but staff is happy to receive council feedback," Butz wrote in his agenda commentary. "I have placed asterisks next to some possible priorities, but feel free to return the list with your personal ranking … or contact staff with feedback."
    The projects Butz picked are as follows:
    • U.S. Highway 63 from the Interstate 44 overpass to University Drive: the roadway, including the overpass, needs additional lanes and traffic control.
    • Highway 63 at the 10th Street intersection: a pedestrian overpass is needed.
    • Highway 63 at or near I-44: improved pedestrian facilities, including wider I-44 pedestrian and bike crossings.
    • Highway 63 at Kingshighway: longer right-turn lane for southbound traffic needs to be investigated further.
    • Highway 72: extension from Highway 63 to I-44 at or near the proposed fifth interchange.
    The Transportation Advisory Commission of MRPC, which works with MoDOT to prioritize regional transportation needs, will meet Dec. 12 to come up with the final list to be submitted to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for its Five-Year Plan.
    "Each county of the MRPC/TAC receives three votes in the priority-setting process," Butz noted. "In Phelps County, the input comes from County Commissioner Larry Stratman, Rolla Community Development Director John Petersen and St. James City Administrator Jeff Davis."
    There are eight counties in the Meramec region.
    Butz, Public Works Director Steve Hargis and Petersen attended a meeting Oct. 29 with Kramer, Phelps County commissioners and MRPC Executive Director Bonnie Prigge.
    The list is lengthy and includes some projects that may never be funded. For instance, there is on project on the list to make Rolla an Amtrak stop for service from St. Louis to Springfield.
    Butz was asked if this is a serious proposal. He said it had been on the list before, disappeared but has reappeared.
    He expressed doubt that it could happen soon but noted the city is ready with property for a stop on Sixth Street where a parking lot is currently under construction. A portion of that property could be used for a rail stop should Amtrak service be extended to southwest Missouri.
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