Cole County prepares for its biggest road project

A car drives down Business 50 West in Cole County, which is targeted for reconstruction next year.

A car drives down Business 50 West in Cole County, which is targeted for reconstruction next year. Kile Brewer

The 2014 budget for Cole County looks to be finalized Jan. 9. On that same day, a contract will be awarded for what county officials have said will be the biggest road project the county has ever undertaken.

Bids were taken last week for work to reconstruct Business 50 West in Apache Flats. Public works officials told county commissioners on Tuesday that at least one of the bids came in at the estimated cost of $3.6 million.

The project, which will encompass just more than two miles, will start at the end of state maintenance west of the intersection of Business 50 and Country Club Drive and end near Binder Park Road.

The project will be funded by the county’s half-cent sales tax.

The work will include a three-lane roadway with curb and gutter along with sidewalks adjacent to the road. Existing road ditches will be relocated or enclosed as needed to accommodate the road drainage.

Up until now, the biggest road project the county had done was the rebuilding of the Walnut Acres bridge in 2008; it cost the county $1.7 million.

The length of the Business 50 project is what makes it cost so much, according to public works officials.

This project will be much like the improvements that were done on East McCarty Street in Jefferson City. That was a $4.1 million city/county project that started in October 2011 and ended in late 2012. The work included widening the road to three lanes, a new signal at Eastland Drive and new sidewalks.

Commissioners have said they realize working around businesses and residences in the area will be a challenge, but plans are to update residents about changes in traffic as much as possible.

The goal is to have the work done in a year.

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