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US 65 Turn Lane Improvements

Total cost $2.4 million

Saline County Commission participates in Marshall Junction ribbon cutting

turn lane ribbon cutting

by Danielle Linton-Hatfield/Staff Writer

“We’re here today for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Marshall Junction I-70, 65 Highway outer road relocation project,” Ben McCabe, Missouri Department of Transportation area engineer, said Tuesday, Oct. 11. “A couple facts about this project, it was made possible by the residents of Saline County who voted in a countywide half-cent sales tax. Partnerships like this between Saline County and MoDOT allow for (enhanced) safety and also promote economic activities. So we’re glad to be a part of that.” 

Fifteen individuals participated Tuesday afternoon, including members of the Saline County Commission, MoDOT, local landowners and general contractors. 

“This project involved relocating the first U.S. 65 crossover south of I-70, 116th Trail Road approximately 1,500 feet further south,” McCabe added. “We also extended the outer roads to tie into that new crossover. The project also included adding left and right turn lanes to the new crossover on Highway 65 out there.” 

He stated construction for the project began in May of this year and was completed by September. McCabe said the total cost of the project was $2.4 million. This was split between Saline County and the governor’s cost-share. 

“As you can see from these facts, transportation improvements take a huge effort from all parties involved,” he continued. “Again, we’re glad to be part of that.” 

McCabe then introduced Ed Hassinger, MoDOT chief engineer, to say a few words. 

“First of all, let me just say thank you to the governor for recognizing that we need to have programs that — it was his foresight that said, ‘Hey MoDOT’s got a cost-share program, we’d like to do something else to enhance that’ — so he put forward the funds and the legislature approved those funds a few years ago,” Hassinger said. “While we’ve gotten more money for transportation, there’s still not enough money to do everything that folks really want — and cost-share has become a really great way for cities and counties to kind of recognize a need — and are willing to put their own skin in the game that ‘we will match half’ — or in this case the governor’s cost-share program will match half — to get some really amazing things done.” 

Hassinger noted they are doing this all over the state of Missouri. He added this year the proposal to add $75 million more of the governor’s cost-share program money to be available — has been put into the budget. Hassinger stated the legislature passed it. 

“And we just got done soliciting for those projects,” he said. “We’ll be rating those and taking those to the commission here at the beginning of the year. I think the message that I have for you is when we work in partnership we get a lot more done. Thank you to the county commission, your foresight to say, ‘Hey this is an opportunity to get some really great things done.’ You look at the great project out here, it’s going to be safer. Certainly, I think it’s going to be a lot of opportunity. I know there’s some ideas and plans being put in place that — this is going to yield some benefits for the region and the county. So that’s kind of what it’s all about. Take care of the infrastructure we got, make things safer, and provide for economic opportunity.” 

Lastly, Saline County Northern Commissioner Stephanie Gooden thanked everyone Tuesday afternoon, for being at the ribbon ceremony for Marshall Junction. 

“We want to thank MoDOT and everyone involved for this turn lane project,” she said. “We also want to thank Bill Stouffer — without his consulting, this probably would not have come to fruition. … We are one check mark closer to the implementation of infrastructure for the development of Highway 65 and Interstate 70. We could not have done that without you — the landowners — and we appreciate you all so very much. Thank you.” 

Map of new turn lanes
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