MoDOT To Add Turning Lane on East Highway 17

The Missouri Department of Transportation will add a turn lane at East Highway 17 and Thomasville Road as the City of Houston prepares to make extensive transportation improvements in the area.

Work begins this week.

City Administrator Larry Sutton told the Houston City Council last week that the agency said it had okayed plans to add the turning lane.

The city project will extend Thomasville Road south to Holder Drive and on to a commercial development north of Orscheln Farm and Home. A new street – running west and east – would also be created.

Gaines Construction Co. of Rolla was the low bid for the excavation work totaling about $224,200. Another part of the bid includes an initial two-inch overlay of asphalt costing $89,688. Asphalt curbing also is planned in some areas.

Additional expenses on the project include installation of some concrete culverts and some water line changes. The city recently okayed a bid of about $24,600 for concrete culverts needed for the effort.

The city included funds for the project in last year’s budget, but it was carried over to this fiscal year. Additionally, the city has a quarter-cent sales tax earmarked for street and sidewalk work.

Hood-Rich Architects of Springfield, the engineering firm on the project, will prepare final paper documentation before the project proceeds. That may happen soon, Sutton said.

Gaines is expected to complete its portion of the project by Aug. 2, Sutton said.

In other matters before the council, members:

-Heard a report on procedures related to delinquent city property taxes. City employee Diana Hill gave the report and noted that a list of those still owing taxes appears in this week’s Herald. The city also has a procedure to sell property when taxes are owed.

-Approved a one-year agreement with a group that uses property at the Houston Memorial Airport for a radio-control group.

-Okayed the purchase of supplies needed by the city’s electric department. Fletcher-Reinhardt of Bridgeton had the low bid of $3,922.

-Approved plans to enter into negotiations for the purchase of property near the city’s wastewater sewer treatment plant. City voters will be asked in June to approve a bond issue to pay for upgrades at the facility. Discussions on marketing the issue were held by the council.

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