Business 50 road project ahead of schedule

Officials with the Cole County Public Works Department said this week that the Business 50 improvement project in Apache Flats is moving along ahead of schedule.

The contractor has been removing poor subgrade material and building the pavement base in preparation for paving two lanes. They have also begun concrete work on the south lane.

“A few things have changed since our original traffic control plan,” said County Engineer Eric Landwehr. “Because of the poor subgrade in some areas, the removal of two lanes instead of one at a time was necessary to ensure a quality end project. This was achieved by going to one-way flagger control traffic.”

He said there will be a slight change to this pattern beginning next week.

Starting at 9 a.m. Monday, the eastbound traffic will be closed at Apache Trail. All eastbound traffic will have to use a detour set up to go on Apache Trail and Big Horn Drive to U.S. 50. All westbound traffic will remain in the current westbound lane thus making that a one-way road. The section of road being worked on will be from the intersection of Country Club Drive to Apache Trail. The detour is expected to last for two days, so on Wednesday traffic should resume to the current two lanes.

During this partial closure time, the contractor will remove the center section of existing pavement and build the base for the new pavement.

Landwehr said businesses and properties along this section of the road will be accessible.

“The main reason for doing this is to avoid a traffic backup situation that could create problems at the Country Club intersection and problems with the off ramp from U.S. 50,” he said. “A secondary reason is that we expect construction to go a little quicker which will allow it to be opened back up on Wednesday.”

A second traffic control change will occur immediately after opening back up to two lanes. Apache Trail will close to drive through traffic for reconstruction of the intersection and some of the street. The work will be done on half of the road at a time and access will still be available to the businesses and Regional West Fire Station. However, pass-through traffic will not be permitted. During this time, a detour will also be set up to get people around that might use this road as a pass through. This closure is expected to last about two weeks and will basically be the same type of situation as the closure of the Gateway Drive intersection with the exception of a signed detour.

“Because things have gone relatively smooth with few issues, the contractor has been able to get ahead of schedule,” Landwehr said. “If things progress as expected, there is a strong possibility that asphalt could be placed on the remaining two lanes by the end of May which would be approximately two-and-a-half weeks ahead of schedule.”

Don Schnieders Excavating was the low bidder for the project at $3,498,955.21.

The project will rebuild the road, add curbs and gutter, storm water drainage and a sidewalk along the south side of the road from Country Club Drive west to past South Binder Lake and Babe Ruth drives.

The county also has an agreement with Jefferson City’s Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department to build a greenway trail on the north side, from South Binder Lake Road east to Country Club Drive, with the city agency paying $76,000 for the extra work.

Except for the north-side greenway work, the project is to be finished by Dec. 15.

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