Jefferson City officials discuss possible highway expansion

Road officials want to expand Highways 50 and 63 to four lanes

POSTED: 10:38 AM CDT May 02, 2013    UPDATED: 12:08 PM CDT May 02, 2013 
Missouri Highway Commission discuses changes on Highway 50 and Highway 63
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -

The Missouri Highway Commission met Wednesday to discuss the possibility of making Highways 50 and 63 four lanes. 

The plans would make it easier to get in and out of town. 

The Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce's Transportation Committee chair proposed adding two more lanes on those highways. 

A local restaurant owner who has been in town for decades welcomes the new idea. 

Rob Agee is the owner of Madison's Cafè, a staple of downtown Jefferson City, serving its customers for over 30 years. 

Agee hopes the expanded roadway could bring even more business to town, a dream shared by Missouri Department of Transportation officials. 

"One of our goals and priorities are in this area is always create jobs that enhance the safety to the travelers, promote economic growth and get people where they need to go in a timely manner," said MoDOT Central District engineer David Slyvester. 

Sylvester said in south Columbia, Grindstone Parkway was changed to a four-lane road.

Growth in the part of town was 12 percent compared to just three percent in the rest of town, showing what a change in highway transportation can do for an area. 

Officials say the lack of funding is what is stalling the highway expansion.

Agee hopes despite this challenge, the changes can become a reality.

"There are always wants and desires to improve the city and obviously egress but an interest would be an obvious plus," Agee said.

MoDOT officials said projects with the highest priority get funded sooner.

Sylvester acknowledged the fact that there are needs in Jefferson City and the Mid-Missouri area, but many more needs across the state.