Public input sought for 37/60 study

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A meeting to gather public input on the 37/60 Corridor Study will be held on May 17 in the Aurora High School gymnasium. The Missouri Department of Transportation will host the open house meeting from 5 to 7 p.m.

"To help MoDOT plan for the future, the 37/60 Corridor Study is examining how population growth and development will impact transportation along the corridor over the next 25 years," said Beth Schaller, MoDOT District 7 project manager.

Those who attend the meeting will have the opportunity to talk with study team members about the purpose and need for improving the corridor and to discuss general traffic and safety aspects of the corridor. Citizens will also be able to focus their comments on specific road segments along the corridor.

No formal presentation will be delivered. Instead, the public is invited to come and go during the two-hour meeting. An interpreter will be available to assist Spanish-speaking citizens in getting their concerns heard and questions answered.

The 37/60 Corridor is an 80-mile stretch of roadway that includes Highway 37 from the Arkansas state line north to Monett and Highway 60 from Monett east to the James River Freeway interchange.

A public officials briefing on the Corridor was held April 24 in the Barry County Courthouse in Cassville. At that gathering, those in attendance were given a brief overview of the information that will shared with the public at the May 17 open house.

Tim Ross, senior vice president of George Butler Associates in Lenexa, Kan., spoke about the purpose and needs study that was currently being conducted along the 37/60 Corridor. He said traffic and development patterns were indicating that growth was occurring along the Corridor. According to Ross, average daily traffic along Highways 37 and 60 is expected to increase by 30 percent over the next 20 years.

Funding continues to be a big question mark when MoDOT officials speak of future improvements along the Corridor.

"Right now, we don't have the funding for construction of huge improvements on this corridor," said Becky Balz, MoDOT?district engineer.

Gathering public input is part of finalizing the corridor's purpose and needs study. Once the study is approved, MoDOT will begin conducting an alternatives analysis, which will produce a list of potential alternative to satisfy the findings of the purpose and needs study.

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