Wednesday, September 29, 2010

DEADLY CURVES: Neighbors fed up with road safety nightmare

Councilman:  Decisions lie with public works director Glascock
COLUMBIA, 9/29/10  (Beat Byte) --  A "deadly curve on Creasy Springs Road" in north Columbia has members of the Prairie Hills Neighborhood Association fed up with delays on street and bridge projects in their neighborhood.    
Prairie Hills residents agreed to voluntary annexation into the City of Columbia in 2007, hoping for improved public services.  But those promises have yet to pan out. 
Living near Vanderveen and north of Bear Creek on Creasy Springs Road, Prairie Hills neighbors kicked off a discussion this summer about road and bridge problems, prompted by recurrent flooding.
"Does anyone know how long before the city plans to build the new bridge over Bear Creek that they have to build anyway when they straighten Creasy Springs Road?" neighborhood association member Nancy Kievit asked on an email listserv.  "There are more people than just Prairie Hills residents who can't get out or home between Bear Creek and Clearview when the creeks are flooded."
Sending questions from her group to Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill, Kievit first asked when City Hall was planning to straighten the deadly curve on Creasy Springs Road, an estimated $9 million dollar project she called "long overdue." 
"Money in that amount is not lying around awaiting a valid project," Thornhill responded.  "This project is complicated with regard to funding sources, as the road meanders in and out of city and county jurisdictions, requiring a joint effort between city and county." 
Creek flooding "blocks residents of neighborhoods other than Prairie Hills from using Creasy Springs to get either in or out," Kievit insisted, also inquiring about city plans to re-build bridges in the area. 
"Folks further north can use Creasy Springs to Obermiller, or Brown School Road to get around flooded areas," Thornhill responded, with a caveat that he "may be mistaken." 
Referencing a Columbia Heart Beat article, Prairie Hills neighbors wanted to know why City Hall wasn't spending part of its lavish cash stash to "fix the Bear Creek bridge, straighten Creasy Springs Road, save lives by eliminating that deadly curve, and allow emergency vehicles access when the creeks are flooded for as much as 12 hours at a time." 
"This [Columbia Heart Beat] article has caught fire, and I can hardly catch up with the number of people who've asked me about it," Thornhill responded, correcting what he termed "a significant error" about the size of the stash reported here.  He also explained that prioritizing Prairie Hills was mostly the purview of public works director John Glascock.
"[Glascock] felt that some other projects could be delayed to accomodate for this, if neighborhood support indicated the project was worthy of becoming a priority over others," Thornhill explained. 
[Ed. Note:  In August, City Manager Bill Watkins told Council members City Hall had around $166 million in cash; audited financial statements peg the amount at between $120 and $200 million, with $1.1 billion in total assets.] 

1 comment:

  1. With the County and City Planning and Zoning approving more and more building of housing developments above places like the Bear Creek Bridge and other places of like nature in the county and city with out totally looking at the huge over all impact of what is going to happen down stream in the future of those areas we will see these same kinds of issues continuing to develop over time.

    One of the answers might be to get the National Geological Survey Team or a like organization to come and do down stream studies of the future needs of the down stream areas below a 20 mile perimeter down stream to evaluate future needs.

    Yes this would have to be a mandated law by the state but if we want to stop issues of this kind caused by developers who are only thinking about how fat their pocket book is going to become some strict measures must be implemented.

    Everybody always wants to fix all of these issues after the fact but why not try to fix these issues before they happen and lessen the costs later down the line.