Capital Region seeks city cooperation on expansion

Planned expansion may require traffic changes around campus

Capital Region Medical Center is hoping for cooperation from Jefferson City officials to assist in various traffic changes and variance requests associated with the hospital’s planned expansion.

Representatives from CRMC attended the Public Works and Planning Committee meeting Thursday, giving a presentation of the hospital’s $35 million expansion, which is expected to be completed in 2015.

As part of the expansion, representatives said they would need to partner with Jefferson City to allow for some changes around the hospital’s campus.

Those potential changes include switching the stretch of Monroe Street that runs beside the campus from a one-way street to a two-way street, with potential widening of the road; requesting the vacation of Woodlawn Avenue; and incorporating a “full access intersection” at Monroe Street and Stadium Boulevard.

Representatives also said they would be looking at requesting several variances for signage, building height, building setback and parking requirements. A rezoning also would be sought for surface parking on CRMC property.

The committee was not asked to recommend or act on any of the changes Thursday, but simply heard the plans for the future. Representatives of CRMC said they have been working with city staff to start the process.

In other business, the committee discussed potential changes to Chestnut Street to deal with the problem of enforcing parking regulations on the street with the largely student population. Lincoln University has previously requested the street be vacated to allow for a pedestrian plaza on the campus.

Britt Smith, operations division director, presented two potential solutions to deal with the parking issues on the no parking street without vacating it. Smith said the city is hesitant to vacate the street as it may be used as a detour route when work begins on the new Lafayette Street interchange.

One potential solution would be to narrow the street so parking could not occur, he said. That would use markers along the road to limit parking and add three-foot concrete curbs.

Another option, he said, would be to close the street off to traffic during specific hours during the week and perhaps allow parking during the evening when the road is open.

Smith said he would speak with LU representatives about using one of those ideas as a short-term solution to the parking issue and accompanying safety concerns.

“Chestnut Street has been a long-standing issue,” Smith said.

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