Columbia leaders held an open house Tuesday evening to discuss the second phase of the Scott Boulevard improvement project.
Starting in early 2014, the Columbia Public Works Department will close Scott Blvd. from Bellview Drive to Vawter School Road to improve that section of the road.
Crews will build a new bridge over Hinkson Creek that is nine feet taller than the current bridge and a new roundabout at Scott Blvd. and Vawter School Rd.
The taller bridge is designed to prevent road closures during flooding.
"When the bridge was built in 1983, the data simply wasn't there as to where the flood plain was actually at and how the water could actually accumulate," said Steve Sapp with Columbia Public Works.
The project will also add 3,600 feet of connected sidewalks and a connection to the MKT Trail.
The open house was held at Millcreek Elementary School on W. Nifong Blvd. Public Works officials talked with residents and drivers about the project and its impacts on local traffic. They have come up with some alternate routes to use when the construction begins.
Emergency response will also see some changes. The Columbia Fire Department will work with the Boone County Fire Protection District to divide up the responses accordingly while Scott Blvd. is closed.
"We're able to shift responses around a little bit and make sure everybody's getting the best customer service we can provide," said Deputy Chief Randy White with the Columbia Fire Department.
The $5.9 million project is scheduled to be completed by fall 2014 and is funded through a 2005 voter-approved 1/4-cent capital improvement sales tax.
A third phase of construction on Scott Blvd. will start in 2016. That project will focus on the road from Vawter School Rd. south to Route KK.