FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Construction to continue “complete street” improvements along the Central Street Corridor is set to begin next week with the goal to provide a system for all modes of transportation in a pedestrian-heavy area of the City. Official notice to proceed was issued to general contractor D&E Plumbing & Heating to begin work on Monday, July 12.
A complete street network is one that is planned, designed, constructed, operated and maintained to service pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages to safely and efficiently travel. The City formally adopted its Complete Streets Policy in 2014. Public Works has since worked to include elements to accommodate all users in improvement projects including the recent Battlefield and Fremont Intersection and Roadway Widening project and Primrose Street Widening project.
The complete streets effort aligns with a consistent call from citizens for a more walkable community, heard in citizen surveys and throughout the Forward SGF comprehensive planning process.
With Phase II of the Central Street Corridor project, complete streets improvements will continue along Central Street between Benton Avenue and Clay Avenue, including a multi-use path on the north side of Central and a sidewalk on the south side. Intersection and signal improvements will be made at Central Street and Drury Lane. Underground stormwater infrastructure will also be included as well as the installation of a small rain garden at Central and Clay to help improve water quality. Gas, water, electrical and fiber utilities will be updated within the project boundaries.
“Central Street functions as a vital east-west connector street in our roadway network and links the community to government services, the Midtown Library Branch, City Utilities, Central High School, Drury and OTC,” explains Public Works project manager Nick Edelman. “As we continue complete streets improvements along this corridor, we’ll be providing safe and equitable transportation to all who need to access these services.”
Phase I of Central Street improvements, the Central-Pythian Corridor Project, made complete street improvements along Central Street from Clay Avenue to National Avenue, redirecting traffic around Ozarks Technical Community College Campus via Pythian Avenue. The project installed a roundabout at Central and Sherman and included various pedestrian facilities.
Considering the Phase II portion of Central Street bisects Drury University Campus, the City worked closely with the university throughout the project design process to plan around on-going facility construction and to ensure it aligns with Drury’s established master plan. The project will incorporate on-street parking, decorative street lighting and a grass-covered median throughout the extent of the project.
No traffic impacts are expected in the early weeks of construction, as work will focus mostly on utility replacements. As the project progresses, the public can expect Central Street to close to through traffic in several segments for multiple months beginning in August/September. The public will be notified as road closure details become available.
“We are coordinating closely with Drury, OTC and Central High School to try to alleviate major impacts to school operations and make sure students, parents and teachers are aware of changes to traffic flow,” explains Edelman. “This may cause a bit of a headache right at the start of the school year, but with a little patience, the end product will mean better usability and safety for all who travel this corridor.”
Phase II is expected to cost $2.1 million and will be funded through the 1/8-cent Transportation Sales Tax with reimbursements from City Utilities for the utility upgrades. Completion is anticipated by the end of the year.
For more information, visit the Central Street Corridor Phase II project webpage.
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For more information, contact Communication Coordinator Kristen Milam at 573-819-3713 or [email protected].