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story.lead_photo.caption Julie Smith/News TribuneDon Schneiders Excavating chips away at the bluff on Business 50 between Apache Flats and St. Martins. Progress is being made as work continues on the project, which includes new curbs and guttering to both sides of the roadway, new pavement and a new intersection at Henwick Lane. Additionally, a new sidewalk will connect St. Martins with Apache Flats, with hopes to eventually connect it with Jefferson City’s Greenway Trail.

Work on the project to improve Business 50 West from the Apache Flats area to St. Martins is moving along, and Cole County officials said they are pushing to meet the original completion date.

The Cole County Commission awarded the $3.3 million project to Don Schnieders Excavating Co. in March; construction began in May.

The first section of work was near the intersection of Route T and focused primarily on the area between Route T and Rainbow Drive. Work on the Route T and Business 50 intersection began in June. That work included new safety upgrades under the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the terms of the contract, work was completed on the intersection before school started in August.

The second section focused on the area between Rainbow and South Binder Lake roads. Portions of Business 50 have been closed to traffic while this work took place.

Cole County Engineer Matt Prenger said the work on the project went from west to east, and the improvements included paving, grading as well as stormwater and curb and gutter.

"We haven't run into anything out of the ordinary," Prenger said. "It's a big project for the county. The section of Business 50 below Cardwell Lumber is closed, but hopefully we should be pushing through and opening that up soon."

The completion date has been set at Dec. 17, however, county officials said some finishing work could go past that date.

This phase of work is connecting to improvements on Business 50 made earlier in St. Martins. When complete, non-drivers will have a 3.4-mile stretch from Country Club Drive to Carel Road that has continuous sidewalks, a greenway or bike/pedestrian lanes on which to safely walk, bike or use other mobility equipment such as a motorized wheelchair.

The St. Martins project was completed with funds from St. Martins' one-cent sales tax, Cole County's half-cent capital improvements sales tax and Missouri Department of Transportation alternatives grant funding. This current project is being paid for with funds from the county's capital improvements sales tax.

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