Key Largo slip ramp extension planned

This design presented at Thursday’s meeting showcases the proposed slip ramp with roundabout that allows traffic to enter Osage Beach Parkway and provide “friendly” right in and right off Expressway 54 heading east toward Osage Beach. A slip ramp with roundabout and outer road extension from Route Y to Osage Beach Parkway is what the Osage Beach board of aldermen approved to move forward with and The City of Osage Beach is requesting MoDOT’s approval for as part of a cost-share project.

This design presented at Thursday’s meeting showcases the proposed slip ramp with roundabout that allows traffic to enter Osage Beach Parkway and provide “friendly” right in and right off Expressway 54 heading east toward Osage Beach. A slip ramp with roundabout and outer road extension from Route Y to Osage Beach Parkway is what the Osage Beach board of aldermen approved to move forward with and The City of Osage Beach is requesting MoDOT’s approval for as part of a cost-share project. Photo by Samantha Edmondson.

On Friday, Osage Beach Mayor Penny Lyons sent a letter to Missouri Department of Transportation requesting approval for both a slip ramp with roundabout and outer road extension to Route Y in a cost-share project between the two entities to resolve the traffic issues near the Key Largo intersection of the 54 Expressway.

This formal request to David Silvester, Missouri Department of Transportation Central District Engineer, followed the Osage Beach Board of Aldermen’s vote for MoDOT district engineer Bob Lynch to seek approval for both the slip ramp with roundabout and the outer road to Route Y following his presentation of different intersection design options at the Osage Beach Board of Aldermen meeting Thursday night.

According to Lyons’ letter to Silvester, “Bob Lynch presented the newest option of the slip ramp with the roundabout. The city engineer also prepared a summary of the four options on the table – the slip ramp with a roundabout, the slip ramp without a roundabout, the outer road to Route Y and an interchange at Key Largo, which he distributed to the board (of aldermen).”

Lynch said these options were ones the board of aldermen requested at the last meeting MoDOT gave presentations. Lynch said the slip ramp design essentially provides an exit off 54 Expressway heading east or north from Camdenton.

“You exit the highway and the off ramp brings you to a roundabout located near Osage Beach Parkway and the current Key Largo intersection,” he described.

Lynch added that roundabout would allow traffic to follow through to the Lazy Days Road intersection or be able to go east or north onto Osage Beach Parkway into town. In addition, traffic coming from Osage Beach Parkway west from the Route KK direction can utilize the roundabout to go right out onto 54 Expressway as well, heading east or north. Drivers will still not be able to go west on 54 Expressway from the proposed roundabout.

“The slip ramp and Key Largo roundabout design allows a right in and right off access to Osage Beach Parkway from 54 highway,” he said. “(This design) stays within right of way and does not interfere with other entrances … It is a friendly off to the parkway from the Expressway.”

Lynch said the board also approved to move forward with possible extension of the parkway of the Route Y interchange, pending MoDOT’s approval of a cost-share project.

The design the Osage Beach board of aldermen is requesting to move forward with is one Lynch and Silvester presented at the Aug. 30 board meeting. At that meeting, Silvester and Lynch presented an option with a similar “slip ramp” (or outer road) design from Route Y past western businesses and joining up with Osage Beach Parkway heading eastbound.

“We currently would leave all U-turns at Key Largo and other intersections at 54 Expressway to Route Y the same, as well,” Silvester stated during the August board meeting.

Lynch included the estimated cost of each option he presented at Thursday’s meeting, the City’s portion of the estimated cost of each and the estimated time to complete each.

According to Lyons’ letter to Silvester, the Board requested that Bob Lynch seek approval for both the slip ramp with the roundabout and the outer road to Route Y and asked if MoDOT would cost share the slip ramp at 50/50 and the outer road at one-third for the City and the other two-thirds for MoDOT as originally offered.

“According to estimated figures, the cost to the City to do both, if MoDOT agreed to the cost share as noted above, would be $1,414,500, and MoDOT’s share would be $2,437,500,” Lyons wrote in the letter. “The Board asked Bob Lynch to seek approval for this option and Bob requested that the City put this request in writing. If MoDOT concurs, we could then proceed to enter into a formal agreement to this effect.”

According to Lynch, if MoDOT approves the project, the roundabout construction would be done approximately by summer 2013 with a tentative mid to late summer timeframe for completion. In addition, the outer road project should be done about the same time, as well, Lynch said.

In the meantime, Lynch said MoDOT still plans on installing a more semi-permanent barrier with “channelizers” to allow a right out from Osage Beach Parkway at the Key Largo intersection onto the 54 Expressway by Thanksgiving. Even though drivers will still not be able to cross the expressway and head west on the highway from this intersection, they could still get onto 54 Expressway heading east or north like MoDOT said they would do and originally planned. When the construction of the roundabout is approved and begins, this interim right out will change to match MoDOT’s design.

Osage Beach City administrator Nancy Viselli said there had been much discussion about a slip ramp, then a slip ramp with a roundabout, and MoDOT had offered to cost share an outer road. She said she thinks originally there may have been mixed feelings about these options on the board of aldermen, but ultimately they look at the slip ramp with a roundabout as a more immediate solution, and the outer road for future development and long term resolution.

“I think that the benefit of the outer road, as stated above is future development. There is a lot of vacant land between HMI and Y Road and that side of the Expressway, even past Y Road is not part of Linn Creek, so the City of Osage Beach could possibly annex all the way out to Y Road and beyond in the future,” she said. “And, as we have discussed, in areas where outer roads are built, many times it spurs on development (think Columbia, Springfield, etc.).”

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