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December 14, 2010 12:00 AM
Public Hearing Scheduled For U.S. 54 Intersection Improvements in Cole County

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing consisting of informational workshops on Thursday, Jan. 6, to discuss possible safety improvements to eleven intersections along the U.S. 54 corridor in Cole County.

The portion of U.S. 54, between Route 17 and Route 179, has experienced a high number of intersection crashes that resulted in fatalities and severe injuries.  MoDOT has $5 million in federal funding available for intersection modifications that would reduce those crashes and is seeking public input and comment.

The public hearing will begin in the elementary school cafeteria of the Cole R-V School District in Eugene, 14803 Highway 17.  Parking is available in the lot behind the elementary school cafeteria.  The facility is accessible to the physically disabled.

Workshop sessions start every 15 minutes beginning at 3:30 p.m.  Each workshop session will last approximately one hour.  The last workshop session will begin at 6 p.m.  During each workshop session, a formal presentation will be made by a member of the MoDOT project team about intersections along the corridor.  Materials presented will be the same during each session.  The public will be asked to provide input and comment on proposed improvement plans.

"This meeting format is being used because we want people to see and learn not only about the intersection they use, but how each intersection affects the whole corridor," said MoDOT Transportation Project Manager Trent Brooks.  "We're trying to improve safety for an entire area.  We want to explain to people how we've arrived at these conclusions and gather their comments and feedback."

Work to improve the corridor will begin in mid 2011 and take approximately one year to complete.  Tentative schedules for construction will be discussed at the hearing.

All public hearing materials will be available for viewing online at www.modot.org/central the day following the hearing.

"If you can't come to the hearing in person, we do encourage you to visit our web site the next day," said Brooks.  "All materials will be available online and we are taking comments through Jan. 21, 2011."

If you are disabled and require special services at the public hearing, please notify Jennifer Ranabargar at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636) or TTY 1-800-735-2966 for the hearing impaired so that arrangements for those services can be made.

For more information about the public hearing, please call 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636).

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