Council to look at additional Lafayette interchange funding

County Commission asks city for $500,000 to add to county’s $1 million contribution

The Jefferson City Council is being asked to contribute $500,000 for enhancements to the new Lafayette Street interchange, which would go to supplement another $1 million the Cole County Commission has promised for the project.

Last week, the Cole County Commission approved entering into a contract with MoDOT to build the new Lafayette Street interchange with the U.S. 50-63 Expressway, where MoDOT will let the contracts for the interchange and supervise the work. The project is projected to cost more than $16 million, and additional enhancements are projected to be roughly $1.5 million to design and construct. The county’s contribution, and request to the city, is to fund the additional enhancements, as the actual interchange itself will be funded through MoDOT.

Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger said the county is planning to put in $1 million and, at the council meeting Monday, Western District Commissioner Kris Scheperle said they would like the city to put up $500,000 for the project.

“We’re here tonight to basically ask for your help,” Scheperle said after a presentation to the City Council. “This’ll be a great project.

Council members will discuss a resolution to support the city contribution at the Public Works and Planning Committee meeting Thursday morning and, if approved, it would go to the full City Council on June 2. Any funds allocated by the city likely would come from the city’s half-cent capital improvements sales tax.

The project calls for a new interchange at U.S. 50 and Lafayette Street, and adding a lane in each direction from Monroe Street to Lafayette Street and from Lafayette to Clark Avenue.

There also will be enhancements done on the Jackson Street, Chestnut Street and Lafayette Street bridges. These include pylons, lights, railings and a retaining wall at the rock cut with Jackson Street.

The timeline calls for the project to go out to bid in July, the contract awarded in September and construction starting at either the end of this year or the start of next year.

This project is separate from intersection improvements at Lafayette and Dunklin Streets, which is a city/county project. The county commission has approved their portion of the project and the council approved their part of that project Monday.

The interchange would be constructed by JC Industries, who came in with a bid of $1,087,707. Of that, $788,082 is for street and signal work and will be split between the county and city’s half-cent sales taxes. The remaining $299,624 is for sewer improvement work that will be done in the area and paid for by the city.

The intersection will be shut down around June 2 and is expected to be done by Aug. 15 in time for the fall semester at Lincoln University.

A third related, but separate project, which was approved at the City Council meeting Monday, is a cost-share agreement with MoDOT for reconstruction of a portion of Lafayette Street, which is estimated by city staff to cost $140,000. Public Works Director Matt Morasch said the project would be another city and county partnership, where the total costs are split between the two entities.

Jeff Haldiman contributed information used in this story.

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