Osage Beach city officials and MoDOT will once again attempt to find a solution to the traffic flow issues on the west end of Osage Beach Parkway at tonight’s Osage Beach Board of Aldermen meeting.
MoDOT is expected to review one or more options designed to improve traffic flow to west end Parkway businesses and focus on safety in the wake of six accidents and two deaths related to the Key Largo intersection.
The involvement by MoDOT has resulted from a group of businesses owners on Osage Beach Parkway west of Rt. KK who say their businesses have suffered financially since the Expressway was opened. The group has petitioned the board of aldermen for action, has attended several meetings and has worked with some aldermen to find a solution. They say the opening of the Expressway coupled with closing Osage Beach Parkway near Lazy Days Road has virtually halted thru traffic in the area.
The two considerations for the Key Largo-Lazy Days area to be reviewed by MoDOT tonight move away from previously discussed outer roads and slip ramps, and instead focus on three-way ingress and egress in the Key Largo area. One of the designs to be discussed includes a round-a-bout.
Each offers eastbound access from the Expressway onto Osage Beach Parkway on an extended deceleration lane, and eastbound access to the Expressway via an extended acceleration lane.
Neither, however, offers a solution for getting westbound traffic from Osage Beach Parkway onto the Expressway at Key Largo. Motorists would still have to use Rt. KK to access the westbound lanes of the Expressway from the Parkway. Westbound motorists on the Expressway could still make a left-hand turn onto Key Largo to access the Parkway.
The Parkway would still dead end near Lazy Days Road.
Estimated cost to the city of Osage Beach in a cost share with MoDOT ranges from about $250,000 to $500,000, with the option featuring the round-a-bout being more costly.
Mark Beeler, a real estate agent with Re/Max Lake of the Ozarks, told the board in early September that economic woes are driving down property values along Osage Beach Parkway west of the Grand Glaize Bridge, and especially west of Rt. KK.
He said of the seven foreclosures in Osage Beach, all are west of the bridge.
“And there are several more coming down the pike,” he said. “The loss of business and the loss of property values all affect Osage Beach and the county.”
He said unless there is a resolution to the traffic flow and safety issues in the area of Key Largo, “everybody is going to be a loser. I don’t think people will realize the impact until they look at the hard numbers.”
“With property values continuing to decline west of the bridge we can expect an increase in the number of foreclosures and a decrease in real estate tax revenue,” he predicted.
He offered several examples of how property values have declined:
•Appraisals are between 50 and 60 percent of what they were before the Expressway opened.
•Vacant land east of Grand Glaize Bridge is selling for $9.40 to $13.75 a square foot. Land west of the bridge is selling from $1.13 to $3.26 a square foot.
•There are 4.5 times more empty store fronts on the west side of the bridge compared to the east side.
•At least two properties for sale on the west side are now listed for half of what they were in 20111.
•Three properties currently for sale west of the Grand Glaize Bridge are on the market for about half of what they were listed for in 2011.
Not off the table are two previous ideas that involve either a slip ramp or outer road that would run parallel to the eastbound lane of the Expressway. Access would be from Y Road for eastbound traffic.
Those options range in cost from $2.1 to about $3 million. Cost share with MoDOT is indefinite.
MoDOT and Osage Beach officials say challenges in all of the scenarios include providing safe and efficient access to both directions of the Expressway from HMI Fireplace and The Executive Park, both on the east side of the Expressway.
Also on the agenda is second reading of an ordinance that would amend the zoning map to allow for a change in zoning between Ledges Road and Port Lane just off Dude Ranch Road.
The zoning request is being made by Terry Ross to rezone a 26,400-square foot piece of property. The change would be from A-1 Agriculture to R-2 Residential with a Planned Unit Development to allow for two-family residential structures.
Ross plans to develop three, two-unit rental townhouses with frontage on Port Lane.
There were no objections during a public hearing earlier this month.
The Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval at a Sept. 11