Highway 7 And Commercial Street Set For Major Revitalization Work

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
For drivers tired of the congestion at the intersection of Commercial Street and Hwy 7, plans are being made to improve the situation. The City of Warsaw is working on a 50/50 cost share project with MoDOT to add turning lanes, and to eliminate traffic lights from the current cable and add galvanized poles with additional directional signals.
“MoDOT has opened the bids and Do-Rite Construction and Excavating in Lincoln was the low bid, and it is within our budget,” said Randy Pogue, City Administrator and Planner. “The Highway Commission will meet on March 6 to approve the bid.  As part of our cost share, we designed the project, and MoDOT will take care of the construction. MoDOT will handle it from now on out. Once it is approved, we will be notified when work will begin.”
Pogue said that the intersection improvements will be similar to those made at the intersection of Commercial Street and the Dam Access Road near McDonalds and Caseys. At the present time, the Commercial Street/Hwy 7 intersection has only one lane on the north side for driving through or turning. The new design calls for three lanes – a left turn lane, straight through lane, and a right turn lane.  Pogue said that this should relieve a lot of the congestion that occurs by the Phillips 66 at 1606 Commercial Street. The improved light signals will have a signal for all turning directions, plus right turn yields.
“The bid also includes crosswalks and some sidewalks in the area, but it is unknown at this time when construction will begin,” said Pogue.
Pogue reported that another new Main Street improvement project is planned to run from Hwy 7 to Seminary that “creates a gateway” from Hwy 7 to the downtown of Warsaw. He said that improvements will be on the East side only, continuing the lights, sidewalks, curbs and gutters as well as organized parking areas that are currently in downtown. He said that there will also be some improvements up Polk Street with additional parking.  He should hear any day from MoDOT about when to start advertising the project for bids. Federal funding will pay for 80 percent of the improvements, with the City of Warsaw providing 20 percent. 
Warsaw has been able to upgrade and improve its infrastructure successfully with the help of outside grants, but Pogue said that it is becoming more competitive now to get those matching funds.