Springfield, MO

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Contract let for regional transportation study

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The executive committee and the technical committee of the Springfield-Branson Transportation Study Committee Sept. 22 chose TranSystems Corporation of Kansas City to perform a feasibility study for the group.

The selection is subject to contract negotiations.

TranSystems was chose from among four candidates.

Transportation Study Committee Chairman Sam Hamra said all four had outstanding qualities, but TranSystems was the most qualified to perform the job.

Work on the study is set to begin in October and will be conducted in three phases. Phase I will determine the need for improved transportation.

Phase II of the study will encompass all forms of transportation between Springfield and Branson, including rail, widening existing highways, constructing new highways, bicycle paths, waterways, air travel and any other possible modes of transportation.

Phase III is choice of a preferred alternative from those identified in phase II.

"With the rapid development of both communities, we need to plan for the next 20 years the best methods of transportation which will accommodate the increasing number of visitors and local residents who will be traveling between these two communities," Hamra said.

"A successful study evaluating all modes of existing and future transportation is vital to the economic development and tourism growth of southwest Missouri," said Rob Hancik, director of aviation for the Springfield-Branson Regional Airport and a member of the study committee.

The first two phases of the study could take up to 18 months, and public comment will be sought by the committee on the phase III preferred alternative.

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