Providence project expected to be done by fall

COLUMBIA — Long-planned work on Providence Road north of Stadium Boulevard began this week and will continue through the early fall.

The construction started Monday morning and will include new traffic signals, turn lanes, a sidewalk and crosswalks. The work was approved by the City Council in June 2013 and is intended to improve traffic flow on Providence and access to surrounding neighborhoods.

Traffic backing up from the intersection of Stadium and Providence often blocks access to and from side roads into the Grasslands neighborhood west of Providence and MU east of the street, city officials said.

Barry Dalton, spokesman for the Columbia Public Works Department, said there will be restrictions on left turns into some side streets without traffic signals.

“There’s a lot of traffic coming from Stadium and Broadway, so that’s a very dangerous turn,” Dalton said.

All lane restrictions on Providence are in effect during overnight hours from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. to avoid possible traffic congestion. Side-road access to Turner Avenue will be restricted until about June 15. The same will be true for Kentucky Boulevard and University Heights until about June 30, weather permitting.

This $4 million project is scheduled to be finished by fall to minimize inconvenience to residents and students.

“We’re doing this work over the summer to try to avoid as much as possible students’ being in school. There still may be some overlap but that’s part of the planning to try to do that in the summer period,” Dalton said.

Bryant Gaines, project manager for contractor Sam Gaines Construction, said he hopes the work will be done this September.

Specific project improvements include:

  • Installation of traffic signals along Providence Road at Burnam Road and Turner Avenue.
  • Removal of existing traffic signals at Providence and Rollins Street.
  • Construction of a sidewalk along the south side of Burnam Road from Birch Road to Providence.
  • Enhancing crosswalks at the signalized intersections at Turner and Burnam to meet or exceed current standards, including pedestrian signals.
  • Extending the southbound right turn lane onto Stadium from Providence Road.
  • Converting the intersections of Providence with Bingham Road and Kentucky Boulevard to right-in/right-out/left-in. The intersections of Providence Road with Rollins Street and Brandon Road will be converted to right-in/right-out.

No additional roadblock is planned at present but more side-street closures on Providence are expected during construction. Updates on the project’s progress are available on the Public Works Department website.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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