Work will soon begin on a new roundabout on a busy main thoroughfare in Webb City, Missouri.
About 17,000 people a day travel on Highway 171 through Webb City. With a number of trucking companies in the area and the number of travelers expected to increase, city officials say they have a proactive plan for the future.
"We don't want to just be a bedroom community, we want to expand," says City Manager Carl Francis.
Work will soon begin on a new two lane roundabout in the center of 171 towards Carterville. It'll open up what's now blocked off and connect Centennial Street to the highway. The roundabout will also give access to the north side of 171.
"The city of Webb City has purchased a couple of hundred of acres of land that they own up through that area," says Francis. "That land will be available for businesses and industries that wish to move into this area."
The $3 million dollar cost of the roundabout and new connecting roads is coming from bonded revenue of a capitol improvement sales tax in Webb City that was passed by voters three years ago.
"The land that the city owns, we hope to be able to sell that land in the future to perspective businesses to make up some of the cost of the infrastructure," says Francis.
City officials say it may take years before the entire project, including the new business area, is complete. But they say the investment is worth starting now.
"If you don't maintain your growth, then your children don't have a place to work when they get older and they pack up and go to other communities," says Francis.
The new roundabout will also put an additional road towards Carterville, in addition to one on 171.
City officials say they are still negotiating right of ways with some property owners in the area.
The city manager hopes to have bids out for the project by the first week in July.
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