An estimated 95 percent of the traffic on the expressway will likely bypass the west end of Osage Beach Parkway in the next 10 years representing a "staggering" amount of missed opportunities.
That's the initial conclusion of an economic impact study conducted by Zanola Company at the expense of property and business owners with economic interests along the Parkway west of Rt. KK. That could all change, the study indicates, if the configuration of the Key Largo intersection is revamped.
Phase 1 of the Zanola study was presented to the Osage Beach Board of Aldermen recently.
Information from MoDOT indicates that peak daily traffic along Highway 54 in 2001 east and south of Rt. KK (before the Parkway and Expressway were built) was more than 14,000. MoDOT studies also predict that peak traffic along the same area of the Expressway near Key Largo in eight years from now (2021) will be 20,300 and along the Expressway in general will be 34,745.
According to field observations made by Zanola, neither the current or planned intersection options will generate the predicted 2021 traffic volume along the west end of the Parkway.
"Further, it is foreseen that traffic levels will remain well below the 2001 historical levels," the study said.
Additional analysis indicates only between 1.5 and 3.5 percent of the Expressway traffic is using the west end of the Parkway ― far below MoDOT's estimates.
Zanola has conducted several economic development studies over the years including what might happen to the re-centralization of commerce and development if and when the Expressway was completed.
The research said a new highway corridor (the Expressway) would offer additional opportunities along the existing adjacent roadways, including what is today known as Osage Beach Parkway. These opportunities could include:
•Attracting new investment from within and outside the region
•Removing business barriers due to roadway crowding
•Quicker access to more areas of the city
When planned and implemented correctly, the study said, completion of the Expressway would not have a negative effect on local traffic levels. Development success was tied directly to the qualities of newly created intersections.
A business analysis of the Parkway between Rt. KK and Key Largo offers several positive attributes:
•Close proximity to the Expressway and Parkway
•An estimated one-mile-long defined area of commerce
•No encumbrance to existing development
•Visibility from both the Expressway and Parkway
•Two fully operational intersections to and from the Expressway and Parkway
"This is an attractive combination for many business segments with substantial employment opportunities," the study said. "It is expected that existing businesses would certainly benefit from…the Expressway and by the growth of neighboring new businesses."
Page 2 of 2 - However, it is not likely that any of the current or planned intersection configurations will allow achieving the potential business attraction on the Parkway between Key Largo and Rt. KK.
"In any of these scenarios it is likely that businesses will see Rt. KK as the only viable intersection," the study concluded. "The loss of business will create extreme peril for the viability of existing businesses along this portion of the Parkway."
Zanola Company is no stranger to the Lake of the Ozarks area.
Presentations have included:
•Lake of the Ozarks Housing and Economic Forecast, September 2010
•Discovering Lake of the Ozarks Economic Indicators, October 2010
•2011 Lake of the Ozarks Housing and Economic Forecast, May 2011
•Lake of the Ozarks Housing and Economic Forecast for Camden County Commissioners, May 2012
•Lake of the Ozarks Economic Indicators, July 2012
•New Demographics for Growth: Missouri Lake of the Ozarks Region Webinar for C-Stores, Travel Plaza and Hospitality Business, August 2012
•New Demographics for Growth: Missouri Lake of the Ozarks Webinar for Senior Housing Developers, August 2012
•Central Missouri 2012 Housing and Economic Forecast Webinar, August 2012