By Gregg Jones, Union Missourian Editor

City officials will request some city streets be redesignated in order to receive federal funding for improvement projects.

City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann told the city’s personnel, finance and public works committee Monday that he will submit a list to the East-West Gateway Council of Government. 

That list includes Springfield Road between Independence Drive and Main Street, Old Highway 50 east, north of Highway 50 and a “south loop” of Union.Zimmermann noted that the south loop would include Clearview Road, North Bend Road, Porterford Road and South Oak Street.

Alderman Dustin Bailey also requested that Zimmermann look into the reclassification of Oak Street from Porterford Road to Main Street.

The deadline to submit a reclassification request is this month.In order to receive federal Surface Transportation Program funding, city streets must be designated as urban collectors or arterial streets, Zimmermann noted.

The urban collectors within the city limits are West Park Road, Church Street, Springfield Avenue, Prairie Dell Road, Denmark Road, College Road and Main Street. 

There are two “minor arterial” streets in the city — Washington Avenue and Independence Drive.Other roads are designated as “local roads.”

Zimmermann explained that many of the urban collector and arterial streets already have received funding for improvement, or are slated for improvements.Both Washington Avenue and Church Street projects were funded with federal STP funds. 

Independence Drive, Prairie Dell Road and Main Street projects are under way, or are scheduled to have work done.While the city still could apply for funding for collectors including West Park Road, Springfield Avenue, or portions of other collector roads, the Union Board of Aldermen will have to request predesignation, also called reclassification, to prepare for future projects.

Zimmermann added that in order to reclassify streets, there must be traffic counts and justification for reclassification. 

East-West Gateway Council of Governments uses that information to determine if a street should be reclassified. Other factors include the length of the road, number of lanes, lane width, development in the area and if the road accesses commercial businesses.Only 2-4 percent of roads in a city can be principal arterial, 6-12 percent can be minor arterial and 20-25 percent can be collectors, Zimmermann said. 

Local roads can be 65-75 percent.Typically, STP funds are an 80-20 cost share project in which 20 percent of the funds are provided locally by municipalities.The funds are administered through the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and communities must apply for the funds through the East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGW).

The annual Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) outlines state, county and municipal transportation-related projects authorized for federal funding through EWGW. Typically, a project takes three years from the planning stages through completion.

The EWGW board is comprised of elected officials from St. Louis, Franklin, Jefferson and St. Charles counties, as well as St. Louis city in Missouri and Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties in Illinois.