Jefferson City leaders eyeing ways to update or relocate transit facilities

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – City engineers are looking for ways to update or completely relocate Jefferson City’s transit facilities.

The aging facility on East Miller Street was built in the early 1980s and includes the city’s administration building, bus barn, car wash and fueling station. 

City Engineer David Bange told The Heartlander he recently prepared and presented a study before the Public Transit Advisory Committee showing room for improvements. Bange laid out a set of plans that would help create a new space for a larger office area, bus barn, maintenance area and restrooms. The old transfer station would stay in place for those who still use it.

Bange says blueprints have been created to show the basic possibilities for proposed sites. Leaders first looked at property across from where the animal shelter and sewer facilities currently sit.

“As that investigation proceeded, we began to realize that idea was not going to work out very well,” Bange said. “We had some issues with integrating transit stuff inside the street department operation off Miller Street. We hoped to transfer our central maintenance facility out to Hyde Park but with internal discussions with folks already using that site, that didn’t work out either.”

The next step in the process was to look at expanding the Miller Street campus, but foreseen impacts of conjoining properties put a halt to those plans. Now the city is eyeing a location off Hyde Park Road and Heisinger Road where the old drive-in movie once stood. According to Bange, another valid option is off Stadium Boulevard and Hyde Park Road behind Menards.

“Those sites provided enough space for what we were looking for,” he said. “Both sites worked out well in terms of laying things out there. Probably what gave the site behind Menards an advantage was that we already have a transfer point located on Stone Creek which runs into the Wal-Mart parking lot. We do have a lot of traffic and patrons who want to go there.”

The property located behind Menards is owned by Farmer Group who have discussed selling the land for commercial use only. However, the group has shown interest in selling to the city if they can come to terms with the city’s plans to blend into the area. 

“I think there are ways of doing that, but I think that was their main concern,” Bange said.

Bange plans to propose new facility plans to the Federal Transportation Administration in coming weeks and hopes to receive a grant to cover costs for the project.

“It seems as if with the new bi-partisan infrastructure law that there are funds in there for transit improvements and otherwise. We are hopeful. There isn’t anything that we’re specifically chasing, looking for or applying for at the moment. But we certainly hope to begin to do that in the near future.”

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