Last updated: August 26. 2013 8:46PM - 61 Views

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About 30 civic and business leaders from central Missouri will meet today to discuss forming a U.S. 65 Highway corridor coalition.

Leaders representing communities and organizations along U.S. 65 Highway from Trenton south to Springfield will participate in a public meeting at 11:30 a.m. today at the U.S. Bank Building, 3615 Broadway Blvd., in Sedalia.

Nancy Heidrich, a planning assistant with Pioneer Trails Regional Planning Commission, said the main purpose of the meeting is to formally organize a U.S. 65 corridor coalition. The group will develop an action plan and work to lobby for Missouri Department of Transportation dollars to help expand the tourist and commercial uses of the highway and to advocate for expanding it to four lanes from the Iowa border in the north to the Arkansas line in the south.

A goal for this group is for 65 to be a major north-south corridor. Our hope is that if a group of folks get together and have a regional approach, rather than one community here and there, we can get together and focus our energy and help move that goal forward, Heidrich said.

Jewell Patek, representing the Missouri Transportation Alliance, will speak with the group to clarify its priorities for transportation in Missouri and discuss a range of possible funding mechanisms for future projects.

For additional information about the U.S. 65 Corridor Coalition, contact Pioneer Trails Regional Planning Commission at 660-463-7934.

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