Officials to hear results of 37/60 study

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Information on the purpose and need for improving the Highway 37/60 Corridor will be presented to area public officials during three meetings next week.

One of the informational sessions will be held in Cassville. The meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to noon in the Commissioners Chambers at the Barry County Courthouse.

During the briefing, a study team assembled by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) will present some of their study findings to public officials from across Barry County including those who have been actively involved in the Highway 37/60 Corridor Coalition.

Those attending the session will have the opportunity to talk with study team members after their presentation and discuss traffic and safety aspects of the corridor improvement plan as well as information obtained through community stakeholder interviews.

The 37/60 Corridor Study will look at how population growth and development will impact transportation along the corridor over the next 25 years so that MoDOT can plan for the future, said Beth Schaller, MoDOT District 7 project manager.

Additional meetings will be held in Monett and Republic. The Monett meeting will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24 in the Monett Park Casino hall. The Republic meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, April 25 at the Republic Community Center.

More than 130 officials from along the 70-mile corridor have been invited to attend one of the three sessions. The corridor being studied includes Highway 37 from the Arkansas state line north to Monett and Highway 60 from Monett east to the James River Freeway interchange.

Funding to study and design highway improvements along the Highway 37/60 Corridor was included in the 2005 federal highway bill. Under this appropriation, $2.5 million was earmarked for the local highway study.

The study and design phase is the first step toward getting the 37/60 highway improvement project placed on the state s five-year transportation plan.

Nearly a year ago, Pete Rahn, MoDOT director, and Becky Balz, District 7 engineer, visited Cassville and addressed a crowd of over 75 interested citizens.

At that time, Balz reported that MoDOT was in the process of hiring a consultant to do the design study on the Highway 37/60 Corridor project.

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