By Roger Nomer
NEOSHO, Mo. —
The first — and so far the only — Neosho Transportation Development District project is finished.
A traffic signal at U.S. Highway 60 and Kodiak Road began operating Friday morning.
The $824,000 project also included widening Highway 60 to add left-turn lanes in both directions to Kodiak Road and widening Kodiak to add left-turn lanes in both directions to Highway 60. Columbia contractor APAC-Missouri began work in March.
The project was a partnership between the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Neosho TDD.
“Kodiak is one of the heaviest traveled roads out there,” said TDD board member Steve Roark. He said the traffic signal and the turn lanes would relieve congestion and make turns safer for motorists.
“It’s a great improvement in safety” at the intersection, Roark said. “We hope it’s the first of several.”
Other TDD projects are on hold as the Neosho City Council considers if it will appeal a court ruling against the city that allows the TDD to continue. The city’s deadline is July 17.
The Kodiak Road project was started after the court ruling and before the City Council decided it might appeal.
The TDD is funded by a half-cent sales tax collected by businesses within the district. The sales tax revenues will be used to pay the TDD’s $4.5 million share of nearly $7 million worth of transportation projects planned. MoDOT has agreed to pay the remaining $2.4 million of the cost.
“I think this demonstrates to the public that safety is one of our top priorities” in developing projects. “We have other things on the way, I hope.”
He said though safety is a top concern related to all the TDD projects, they also are likely to have economic development benefits.
The Neosho Transportation Development District is located along a retail area of U.S. Highway 60 that includes Wal-Mart and Lowe’s.