I hope all of the mothers in Lincoln County had a wonderful Mother’s Day on Sunday. After taking my mother to church, I attended my sons’ TBHS graduation ceremony, and then returned to mother’s where she and I strolled around her yard admiring the peonies and tomato plants. This was a busy but rewarding day.
A few items of interest that the Commission has been working on are below.
• This Thursday, I will attend the quarterly meeting of the Boonslick Region Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) in Warrenton. I currently serve as vice-chairman of the TAC which is the local transportation planning partner with MODOT, and the TAC provides input to MODOT on transportation needs within the region. The current safety improvement work along Highway 61 is a direct example of a transportation need that progressed from the TAC into the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). The safety of commuters along the Highway 61 corridor will continue to be among the Committee’s priorities this year. It is important to keep in mind that until the MODOT funding situation is addressed by our legislators, projects will be focused on the current MODOT system, while projects that involve the expansion of MODOT’s system will be hard pressed to make it into the STIP without significant local contributions. While outer roads along Highway 61 are a logical step in the safety improvement process, they are not going to become a reality without a local groundswell of financial support. The County has expressed a willingness to participate in cost-share projects in the past, but the extensive scope of an outer road system would necessitate significant local financial support from a number of other agencies that have historically been unable to participate. The guard cables are proof of the effectiveness of the planning process, and we will continue to advocate for the folks here in Lincoln County and the Boonslick Region.
• Easement acquisition continues to hinder our progress on bridge projects. We have pinched our pennies to be able to afford to improve the safety in a number of areas, only to be delayed by easement headaches. We are eventually able to work through the process to everyone’s satisfaction, but, as our population continues to grow, I fear that the likelihood of a young driver having a mishap at one of these locations will one day become a sad reality. What dollar value can we place on a human life?
That’s all I have time for now. As always, call, e-mail or stop by the Courthouse if you have questions. Until next week…