MoDOT plans highway widening projects in Nixa

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NIXA, Mo. (KY3) - Nixa continues to grow and so does the traffic, but a pair of projects will help people get through town more quickly in about three years. The Missouri Department of Transportation is planning to widen Missouri 14, or Mount Vernon Street, both to the east and west of U.S. 160/Missouri 13.

Each section is 1.3 miles long, and MoDOT will work on the west section first from Westminster Street to Estes Street, with the project planned for 2019. The east section, from Fort Street to Tiffany Boulevard, is planned for sometime in 2020.

In both areas, Missouri 14 will be widened to five lanes from the current two or three lanes. MoDOT has to acquire some right of way and construction easements for the project, and says it will be especially tight on the east section of Missouri 14.

"With the west corridor project, the impact to the right of way isn't as substantial as the east corridor, but we're not far enough along with the design to really know where that line is that we need to buy. So we're still looking at that," said MoDOT project manager Kristi Backman.

People who live and work along the highway or just drive it frequently know how much the traffic load has increased and how badly the widening is needed.

"I think it might help. It helps us as residents to be able to get in and out of our drives maybe. It might slow the traffic down where they're not trying to push their way through," says Nixa resident Anita Wylder.

MoDOT says it has contacted most of the affected property owners by mail. It also has a public meeting planned at Nixa City Hall, 715 W. Mount Vernon St., to answer questions on Tuesday, June 27, from 4 to 6. It's a come-and-go style meeting; no formal presentation is planned. An online public meeting will also be available at www.modot.org/southwest.

MoDOT eventually wants to widen all of Missouri 14 between Nixa and Ozark. After this project, it would have just more than three miles to go.

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At the in-person meeting, MoDOT representatives will be available to talk with area residents about the impacts of the projects, answer questions and take comments.

Those unable to attend the in-person meeting can view exhibits, get project timeline information and make comments about the projects by visiting an online public meeting at www.modot.org/southwest. The information will be posted on the MoDOT Southwest District’s website by the afternoon of June 27.

Project highlights:
· Widen Mount Vernon Street (Missouri 14) to five lanes between Westminster Street and Estes Street in 2019, at an estimated total project cost: of $8.4 million
· Widen Mount Vernon Street (Missouri 14) to five lanes between Fort Street and Tiffany Boulevard in 2020, at and estimated total project cost of $9.4 million