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Branson Traffic Improvements to Begin Soon

Road work planned for Branson is hoped to alleviate traffic congestion in the tourist town. Construction begins later this year on straightening out Roark Valley road between Gretna and Shepherd of the hills and adding more turn lanes at those intersections. Jerry Adams is public information director for the city of Branson'

"There is a hairpin that was built when the road was constructed 10 years ago. It's a rather curvy hairpin, and what we would like to do is straighten that out. We had a study done on Roark Valley road by a traffic consultant group, and they recommended, as we well knew for many years, that we needed to straighten out the hairpin, so we're in the process of acquiring the right-of-way, and we hope to begin construction either the latter part of this year or the first part of January to make that section of Roark a lot straighter between Gretna and shepherd of the hills expressway."

Roark Valley road was one of the first streets built in 1992 to alleviate highway 76 traffic. Voters approved a one-eighth cent sales tax for transportation improvements a year earlier, and that was the first road built with the tax revenues. It has since become a major east-west artery. Adams says the work is expected to be complete by early next summer.

The Roark valley road improvements are part of 10 major intersection improvements recommended by the Larkin group, which directed a nine-month total transportation study in and around Branson. Funding for those projects will come from the one-eighth cent transportation tax.