City considers new Dunklin Street crosswalk

Jefferson City will consider reviving a plan for a new crosswalk on East Dunklin Street after a request from the state of Missouri.

At the Public Works and Planning Committee meeting Thursday, committee members endorsed a plan to move forward with a crosswalk on East Dunklin Street in front of the state Employment Security Division Building.

David Bange, engineering supervisor, said the city received a request several years ago from people with the Employment Security Division to construct a crosswalk in front of the building to help employees safely cross East Dunklin Street from the parking lot.

At the time, the city designed a crosswalk similar to those on High Street in the downtown area, Bange said, and the state agreed to cover the costs of the improvements. Later, Bange said the state indicated funds were no longer available for the project, and it was abandoned.

Recently, however, Bange said the city was approached again by the state to construct the crosswalk. He said the state would cover the roughly $30,000 cost of installation, plus all electric costs for the lighted signs, while the city would provide standard, ongoing maintenance.

The city is currently involved in litigation because of an accident near the site of the crosswalk, and city officials noted the issue likely prompted the state to take action again.

In August, Carol Ortbals filed suit against the city, former Public Works Director Roger Schwartze and interim Public Works Director Matt Morasch, who was deputy director under Schwartze, for the city’s failure to study and fix “foreseeable dangers” at the Jackson-East Dunklin intersection.

According to the suit, Ortbals was struck by a vehicle in February while walking in the middle of the intersection to get to her job at the Employment Securities Division.

The plan for the new crosswalk will move to the full City Council for review.

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