Revisiting Safety Concerns at Intersection
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY
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
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.
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
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."
to Address Safety at Mitchell/US 36
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
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.