MoDOT to spend $11.5 million on Hwy. 37
Roundabout versus flashing indicators at Hwy. W being discussed
In about a year and a half, work is expected to begin on Highway 37 from the Arkansas state line to Highway 60 in Monett, including a possible roundabout or interactive flashers at the Highway W intersection in Butterfield.
Kristi Bachman, transportation project manager, said the $11.5 million project is scheduled to begin spring 2020 and will likely run throughout the calendar year.
“There are quite a few elements, including resurfacing from Highway 60 down to the state line, and multiple safety and intersection improvements,” Bachman said.
Work will include:
• Highway 37 and Highway BB intersection: improving sight distance by doing fill work in the southeast corner of the intersection to minimize the need for a guardrail and improve sight for those on BB turning onto 37
• Highway 37 and Highway W: installing a roundabout or installing interactive flashers
• Highway 37 and Farm Road 2140: adding left turn lanes in each direction on 37 to prevent vehicle from having to stop in the high-speed lane when attempting to make a turn
• Between Washburn and Cassville: a one-mile northbound passing lane starting about one mile north of Washburn
• Between Washburn and Seligman: extension of three box culverts with draining issues
Bachman said of the proposed improvements, the Highway W intersection has received the most public attention, and MoDOT is still weighing the two options.
“It’s almost unanimous something needs to be done,” she said. “We know we’re not going to put a traffic signal there, because studies show that would increase another type of crash in that area. A roundabout study showed it could decrease accidents by 68 percent, and a flashers study showed it could decrease accidents by 47 percent.”
Bachman said the interactive flashers would include lights along Highway 37 and detection loops on Highway W that would trigger the flashers when someone is on W, letting the traffic on 37 know a vehicle is at the intersection.
Bachman said MoDOT is weighing the results of comments submitted and will work on a thorough analysis to best accommodate traffic, especially during peak traffic hours when George’s has shift changes.
Cost is also a factor to consider, Bachman said, as a roundabout installation would cost about $1 million when utility work and right-of-way acquisitions are included. The flashers, on the other hand, would cost only $50,000 with the utility work. No right-of-way acquisition would be needed.
Bachman said the comment period specific to the Highway 37 project has closed, but people may always submit comments to the MoDOT office in Springfield, or by going to http://www.modot.org/southwest.