NIXA, Mo. In Nixa you won't notice any dirt being turned to widen Missouri Highway 14 yet.
But what you will notice is some of the work that needs to be done before that project can begin is being done right now like the moving of utility polls.
"We're down to the final parts where the electric transmission company is relocating their polls. When you move large electric poles like they're moving here, that may cause the moving of a different utility," explained Doug Colvin, the Nixa Utilities and Public Works Director. "Obviously there's a lot of underground utilities that are out of sight and out of mind for most people. There's gas, communications and water lines. All of those have been moved over the last few months.
All this preliminary work is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving and this winter MoDOT will start working on the first of two corridors that make up the $17.8 million project that involves widening the highway to two-lanes each way with a center turn lane plus new sidewalks.
MoDOT Kristi Bachman said the project was being divided into two parts for a pair of reasons.
"One is the funding availability of when to do the projects," she said. "The other is that it's just a lot for the community to have the impacts of both projects going on at the same time."
The west corridor between Westminster and Estes Street will be done first and completed around June of 2021 which is about the same time the east corridor between Fort Street and Tiffany Boulevard will start. That part, which sits between Nixa and Ozark, will take about two years.
"The east side is a lot narrower," Colvin pointed out. "That's an older part of the community. Things were built a lot closer to the roadway so it's going to be a very interesting challenge to get everything in place over there."
Most of the construction will be done during the day.
"It will be moving a little bit slower so expect some delays," Bachman said. "Any lane closures that we do need to have, we're going to do those at night."
Both Bachman and Colvin praised the public for their patience in their long wait to see improvements to the busy road and say the 22,000 cars driving on Highway 14 every day will be rewarded with an expansion that's much needed.
"I'm very excited to see this coming," Colvin said.
"Nixa is a growing community with a lot of people moving in and a lot businesses coming to town," Bachman added. "With that we've seen a growth in traffic and now the fun part starts with the construction."