The $1.2 million that was slated for 15th Street is now going to other projects. Around $475,000 will go to the Maiden Lane widening project, $508,000 will go to putting in a viaduct over the 20th Street railroad tracks.
A project to build sidewalks and trolley stops on 20th Street from Campbell Parkway to Range Line will get $250,000. Tonight's approval was for the first reading of the plans. It will then enter into second and third readings before a final approval within the next few weeks.
"This is just a win for Joplin. It's a big thing, we're going to have money to be able to get projects done that are needed for Joplin, especially in this rebuilding phase," states Melodee Colbert-Kean, Mayor of Joplin.
City leaders say we could see the first stages of construction begin on the 20th Street viaduct by early summer. Another part of the federal highway grant includes widening Schifferdecker between 7th and 32nd streets.
That includes purchasing 3 tornado-damaged properties in Sunset Ridge to prepare for the widening. City staff say they have not agreed with property owners on how much to purchase the land for and that is causing a delay. So city leaders voted tonight to allow the city attorney to carry out condemnation procedures if necessary.
"We'll continue negotiations, but we now have the authority to begin condemnation proceedings if we can't come to that agreeable amount," said David Hertzberg, Director of Public Works.
Condemning the properties would be a 60 to 90 day process, that can be avoided all together if an agreement is reached within 60 days.