The city of Osage Beach is considering a new road indirectly connecting Route KK with Nichols Road to help relieve anticipated traffic issues after the Osage Beach Elementary opens on Nichols in the fall of 2015.

The city of Osage Beach is considering a new road indirectly connecting Route KK with Nichols Road to help relieve anticipated traffic issues after the Osage Beach Elementary opens on Nichols in the fall of 2015.

It was the general consensus of the board of aldermen last Thursday that city staff take a close look at next year’s budget when considering construction of the estimated $2.13 million road. The road, which would connect Three Seasons Road off of Route KK with Nichols near the new school, would also allow for construction of a major waterline for residents in the area.

The new road was one of several options presented by the city engineering staff to alleviate issues with Nichols Road, which some aldermen believe could be see safety issues after the school opens. Aldermen in recent weeks have pressed city staff for cost estimates and options on improving Nichols, which will see a marked increase in traffic next fall.

In a summary of information provided to aldermen, City Engineer Nick Edelman said a survey of Camdenton school students showed that about 25 percent of the Osage Beach Elementary students live off of Route KK or Three Seasons Road. There were 230 students who attended OBE during the 2013-14 school year, and 59 of those lived in the KK/Three Seasons area.

Edelman said a waterline project was started in 2004 to connect the Three Seasons water system with the Dude Ranch Road system. That project was put on hold based on conversations with landowners and possible development within the area.

“The development hasn’t happened,” Edelman noted, “but the city still needs the waterline and it could be built with the project.”

Alderman Kevin Rucker said the Three Seasons waterline has been number two on the city’s project list behind Mace Road. Now that the school is being built, the city should consider switching the Three Seasons waterline and Mace Road projects but still do Mace.

Rucker said, however, getting the road completed before school opens in August 2015 won’t happen.

“I realize this is more expensive, but there’s a lot of value in the road. I’d like to see us do something in the next budget,” Rucker said.

Alderman Tom Walker concurred, noting that “if we open that road there’s a possibility of that area being developed and we could have a bunch of new roofs in place. And where are they going to shop? Maybe the west end.”

The logistics of how traffic and buses would be routed coming from Route KK and Three Seasons were discussed, with aldermen noting that the flow of traffic should make it easy to continue on a loop onto Nichols and then either the Expressway or the Osage Beach Parkway; or back onto the Three Seasons extension.

The possibility of the Camdenton R-III School District sharing in some of the construction cost also was discussed, and contacting Superintendent Tim Hadfield was suggested.

“We’ve done that,” Edelman said. “Camdenton is aware of the road connector being in the city’s Master Plan.”

The school district is willing to allow the city easement if a connector road is built.

“I agree with the comments,” Alderman Steve Kahrs said. “It makes sense.”

Other aspects of improving traffic safety in the school area were discussed, including relocating the flashing traffic signals from the existing Osage Beach Elementary on OB Parkway, and establishing lower speed limits in the school area.

Five options

•Developing a three-lane section for part of Nichols similar to what was done in Phase 2 of the Passover Road from Wilson Drive to the Expressway. A benefit is that it could be built in a shorter time frame. Estimated cost: $3.11 million. Completion: 15 months minimum.

•Developing a two-lane road system similar to Phase 1 of the Passover, which is from Wilson Drive southeast to the end of the project. Included would be turn lane into the OB Elementary School. Estimated cost: $1.83 million. Completion: 18 months minimum.

•Create a roadway similar to Zebra Lane. Estimated cost: $1.69 million. Completion: 18 months minimum,

•Create a roadway that addresses the curves in the roadway to bring one of the curves into compliance with city standards. Estimated cost: $98,000. Completion: 10 months minimum.

•Build a new road from Three Seasons Road to Nichols Road. The landowner for this scenario has indicated he would donate the land needed for the roadway, saving the city $1.37 million in right of way costs and reducing the estimated cost from $3.5 million to $2.13 million. The project would be built with little impact to existing traffic, would provide traffic relief for residents on Rt. KK who work at the hospital or school, and it increases the potential development opportunities of land on both sides of the connector road.