Despite the fact the weather has been less than agreeable, the Pettis County Commissioners have received notification on several pending projects to improve the county roads and infrastructure.
In less than a month’s time, work is expected to begin on the Katy Trail Overpass on Broadway Boulevard near Smith-Cotton Junior High School.
“We finally have a start date for the Katy Trail project,” Eastern Commissioner Brent Hampy said. “We know the community is excited about this and we are certain that it is going to improve the traffic flow on the east side of town.”
The $335,962 project is slated to begin March 1 and has a completion date of May 31.
Apac Construction of Columbia was awarded the bid for the construction work.
“The project came in a little over budget but we have received additional funding from MoDOT, the City of Sedalia, and the county to cover the additional cost of the project,” Hampy added. “We are extremely grateful for their help as this is a high-priority project.”
The overpass is a railroad structure located on state highway property and is part of the Katy Trail State Park, but does not qualify for complete state funding for the replacement for two reasons.
“The main reason for replacing the bridge is not the structure itself,” Presiding Commissioner David Dick said. “The primary concern is the height of the structure.
“The traffic flow is the responsibility of MoDOT and not Pettis County or the City of Sedalia,” Dick added “The other reason for the funding split is because it was a way for MoDOT to partner with other entities to complete the work sooner because of the availability of funding.”
The project should be completed prior to the start of the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival and Memorial Day weekend.
“We are asking for a little patience from the residents and travelers to Sedalia during the work phase of the project,” Dick said. “There are going to be some days and nights when area drivers will see some lane closings.”
It is expected that construction crews may have 10 night closings, which will shut down a portion of Broadway Boulevard.
Night closings need the approval of MoDOT and typically are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Although a specific set of dates and times have not been released, the commission will release those days and the detour route maps prior to the shutdown.
The cold weather, freezing and thawing have made several area roads soft, which have required county crews to make some repairs to area roads.
“We have three roads — Pinhook, Richey and Shernaman — that we have closed for some deck work and work on low water crossings,” Western Commissioner Jim Marcum said. “Since the structures don’t qualify under MoDOT standards as bridges, the cost of repair is completely the county’s responsibility.”
The commissioners also approved the purchase of two salt spreaders for county pick-ups.
“The spreaders we had were almost 20 years old and needed to be replaced,” Dick said. “We have already put the new ones to use when we had the bad weather earlier this month.
“We also purchased two new road graders for the county,” Dick said. “They require training for the staff because they have all electronic components but they are working on the training now.”
Dick added that the county was continuing to work on providing additional documentation that FEMA has requested in regards to the county and city’s request to receive disaster aid from spring and summer rains and flooding.
“It’s a slow process, but Jim, (Sedalia-Pettis County Emergency Management Agency Director) Dave Clippert and myself met with them on Monday concerning the Wimer Road Bridge and will be proceeding with the engineering and bidding process as well as the environmental study that has to be completed on all proposed bridges,” Dick said.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484