As the population of St. Charles County continues to grow, infrastructure remains a top priority for County Executive Steve Ehlmann. A member of the East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGCG) Board of Directors, Ehlmann voted in favor of funding for several major St. Charles County transportation improvement projects which recently were approved by the board.
“I voted to fund all of these projects because they are absolutely necessary,” says County Executive Ehlmann, “for safety, and for growth. It is estimated that our county will reach a population of more than 439,000 by 2020. We need to make certain the transportation infrastructure is in place to meet that increase.”
The EWGCG board approved $48 million for St. Charles County transportation projects over the next three years. The money comes from federal, state and local dollars; $20 million for operations and safety, $19 million for preservation and maintenance, and $9 million for improving congestion.
Key projects include:
Route 61 at Route P and Peine Road: Construction has begun on a $10.9 million project to remove the Route P and Peine Road crossovers and replace them with a new interchange serving both roads. Additionally, the project will convert the crossovers at Grothe Road and both Granville Drives to right in/right out intersections and extend merge and turn lanes. This is a joint project with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), St. Charles County and the City of Wentzville.
Route W from I-70 to Highway 61: Shoulder and safety improvements will take place in 2018 for this 5.7 mile stretch of Route W. Cost is approximately $2.8 million.
Missouri Route 364 and Gutermuth: A new interchange is slated for construction in 2020. Adding this third interchange to the approximately 5-mile stretch between Mid Rivers Mall Drive and Route K is expected to reduce congestion at 364/Mid Rivers and 364/Highway K. Cost of the project is estimated at $9 million. St. Charles County will contribute $4.5 million from county sales taxes, $1.5 million will come from federal gas taxes and the MoDOT will contribute $3 million.
Route N at Route Z: “Drivers who sit in traffic at the intersection of Routes N and Z will be pleased to know that improvements are on the way,” Ehlmann says. “We know traffic is congested and will be working to upgrade that intersection.” More than $2 million has been allotted for construction, which will begin in 2021.
Additionally, EWGCG staff has recommended the following project for funding and it will be voted on later this year:
Pitman Hill Road to New County Park: Construction will begin in 2019 for an extended multiuse path that will provide easy access for pedestrians to the new County park between Pitman Hill and Kisker Roads. The path will be accessible from Mid Rivers Mall Drive and will run in front of the Pitman Road entrance to the park. Walkers and bike riders will be able to enjoy park amenities, including a walking and biking trail system. The path project is estimated at $740,000.
“I am extremely happy to see that these and other projects are priorities, not only for the County, but for MoDOT and state and federal agencies,” Ehlmann says. “Aside from these improvements, I have pressed MoDOT to continue studies on the county’s I-70 corridor, and we are making headway. I-70 is the economic engine of St. Charles County, but it was designed in 1956. It cannot accommodate all the development that has occurred in the past 60 years – or all that will occur in the next 5, 10, 15 years and beyond. The time is now to plan for the future.”
For a complete list of projects in the East-West Gateway Council of Governments 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Program report can be viewed on line at www.ewgateway.org.