Joplin, Jasper County receive $4 million state grant for Zora improvements

Jan. 7—A $4 million grant from the state of Missouri that will be used for Zora Street improvements was awarded to the city of Joplin and Jasper County. The city made the announcement Friday evening.

They money will be used to help improve Zora from Range Line Road to Missouri Highway 249, including what is described in a city news release as "a large truck-friendly roundabout" at the intersection of Zora and Duquesne Avenue.

The roadway section from Range Line and Duquesne will become an improved two-lane roadway with curb and gutter and a storm sewer system. The road between Duquesne and 249 will become an improved two-lane roadway with paved shoulders on each side, according to a city statement.

The city said the total construction cost of this project is $9 million, with the remaining $5 million funded through Joplin's voter-approved 3/8-cent capital improvement sales tax.

This improvement was a top project identified by the residents in the renewal of this tax, according to the city.

Since the opening of 249, that section of Zora has become a major transportation corridor.

City Manager Nick Edwards said in a statement: "This was an extremely competitive program, but we had support of the project from the city of Webb City, Missouri Southern State University, and area businesses in the adjacent industrial park areas, including Don's Cold Storage and Consolidated Freight Inc. The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce was also very helpful, given economic development was a major factor considered in the scoring of the submitted projects and the award of the funds."

The purpose of the Governor's Transportation Cost Share Program is to build partnerships with local communities to combine efforts and resources to deliver road and bridge projects. This program is funded with a $75 million general revenue appropriation from the General Assembly.