The dead end roadway in Osage Beach will be a dead end no more.
Mayor Penny Lyons cast the tie-breaking vote Thursday night to move forward in a partnership with MoDOT in building a $3.5 million outer road from the end of Osage Beach Parkway to the Y Road interchange. The city's share is estimated at $1.2 million in a one-third/one-third/one-third cost share with MoDOT and other sources.
The decision means the dead-end Parkway will be reopened to two-way traffic, but it won't be for at least 18 months. Bids for the project won't be let until at least next spring.
Voting in favor of the outer road were aldermen Fred Catcott, Kevin Rucker and Lois Farmer. Voting no were Steve Kahrs, John Olivarri and Ron Schmitt. Catcott offered the motion for consideration, and Rucker made the second, which put the motion in place for the 3-3 vote.
For more than a year, the city, MoDOT and property owners on the west end of The Parkway have worked to find a way to increase east-west traffic flow on The Parkway and do it safely. Opening of the Expressway in late 2012 and the subsequent closing of The Parkway near Lazy Days Road effectively cut off traffic to the area and businesses suffered. Businesses have closed and property values have plummeted. A campaign to solve the problem was taken to the city by concerned business and property owners.
After considerable negotiations with MoDOT, and after a unified effort by the board of aldermen, an agreement was reached earlier this summer.
Aldermen learned Thursday night that MoDOT is not interested in building the project in phases, one of the ideas advanced at a meeting earlier in July. The board also learned that the city could borrow money from MoDOT to help fund the project, although it appears now the city may be able to fund its $1.1 million share over a two-year period since the project won't be completed until at least late 2015.
The opportunity for a sharing agreement on the total cost was one of the reasons for moving forward, Mayor Lyons said as she cast the tie vote.
The city has had a good working relationship with MoDOT, Lyons noted, and the outer road will give the city an opportunity to grow and expand. The two-way road will open the Parkway to through traffic, she added.
Bids for the project won't be let until at least next spring or summer.