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City Revisiting Safety Concerns at Intersection
June 2, 2015

The city of Chillicothe is revisiting safety concerns about the intersection of U.S. Highway 36 and Mitchell Road, and the mayor has asked City Council members to observe the area and form opinions about what, if anything, should be done to improve safety. Highway 36 traffic has increased 7 to 9 percent over the last year, a trend that is likely to continue the mayor said. The highway has become more popular because the route between Chicago and Kansas City is now four-lane all the way, and U.S. Highway 36 has become an alternative to traveling on Interstate 70. Along with the increase in general vehicle traffic is an increase in truck traffic. A new truck stop is going in at Bevier, about 50 miles east of Chillicothe. Chillicothe Mayor Chuck Haney visited with Missouri Department of Transportation engineers recently and discussed the Northwest Missouri Regional Safety Audit program that was done on the area at the request by the city through Green Hills Regional Planning Commission. "We've had fatalities there before and we've had injuries," Haney said. "We're trying to get a fix on something before something else happens." The mayor noted that a speed limit reduction improved highway safety in Cameron but that he was not requesting a speed limit change. "That's for you to decide," he told the council. He asked council members to visit the U.S. 36 / Mitchell Road area. "Imagine sitting on the north side of Mitchell, trying to get onto 36 and go left, and a tractor trailer truck is sitting in the middle. There's no room for any other vehicle to go out through there because of the concrete barriers and the tractor trailer truck sitting in the middle. You have no visibility of the traffic going east." Mitchell Road leads to the industrial park and is used by an estimated 100 tractor trailer trucks each day. "It is a busy area," Haney said. "And, we are going to get a continued influx of traffic on U.S. 36. The higher it goes, the more risk there is out there."

MoDOT Addresses Mitchell Road, Hornet Dr. Intersections
March 23, 2012

C-T Photo / Drew Van Dyke

The dangerous intersection of Mitchell Road and US Highway 36 (above) was a topic of discussion at Thursday's MoDOT Transportation Advisory Committee Meeting in Trenton, along with the intersection of Hornet Drive and Highway 190. The Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) met on Thursday, March 22 in Trenton.

The TAC committee is charged with identifying transportation priorities in the northwest district of Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) jurisdiction, which includes 11 counties. According to Livingston County TAC member Todd Rodenberg: "Each year, TAC develops a regional transportation plan of priorities, which is submitted to MoDOT. MoDOT will then use the information when planning road improvements in the region."

Approximately a year ago, the TAC committee voted that the Mitchell Road / US Highway 36 intersection in Chillicothe was the number one safety priority in the region and, as a result, MoDOT was awarded a monetary sum to conduct an extensive safety audit study of the intersection. The study has been completed, which cites several possible improvements that could be done, ranging from fairly inexpensive to extremely expensive options.

City officials and TAC representative Rodenberg have said that they are anxious to move forward with the project, and that they will meet with MoDOT area engineer Tonya Lohman soon to discuss and evaluate the best course of action to improve the Mitchell Road problem.

At the March 22 meeting, TAC members also prioritized the regional transportation needs for the coming year and submitted them once more to the MoDOT representatives in attendance. The committee voted that the top priority need for the coming year is an unsafe bridge on Highway 13, over Log Creek and south of Kingston, Mo. The number three priority in the region, as identified by the committee, was voted to be the intersection of Highway 190 and Hornet Drive in Chillicothe.

Rodenberg defined the need to other TAC members, saying: "In light of existing and future proposed development of the high school campus - long-range plans involving the district consolidating their facilities at the site - improvements to the intersection are warranted in the interest of mitigating traffic congestion, and fostering safer, faster, and more efficient traffic flow."

MoDOT continues to work diligently with City and R-2 district officials and have several options to improve the intersection and other roadways around the high school and new stadium in mind. "Unfortunately," Rodenberg said, "road improvements, particularly of the magnitude of Mitchell Road and Hornet Drive take time." "We'd all like to snap our fingers and have the improvements completed," he said. "But the reality is that it is a painfully slow process. Both projects are MoDOT priorities, and with everyone working together, we'll continue to make progress."

City Council to Address Safety at Mitchell/US 36
March 13, 2012

The City of Chillicothe will be looking into what can be done to improve safety at the Mitchell Road/U.S. Highway 36 intersection. This location has been the site of accidents where at least six people have been killed over the course of several years, according to statements made at Monday night's city council meeting. The latest accident happened a week ago, which resulted in the death of a Wheeling man.

City Administrator Ike Holland told council members during their regular meeting Monday that following last week's accident, he had received several telephone calls from individuals wanting to know what the city can do to improve safety at this location.

The full council was in agreement that the issue should be addressed and plan to discuss options in April, once the city's budget is completed later this month.

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