The city engineer will study options to connect roadways east of Highway 47 north when the Old County Farm Road intersection is closed.
City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said there are likely options for a new intersection on Highway 47, including an extension of Peters Lane to the west or a new intersection south of Peters Lane.
Peters Lane is located off of Rock Road.He explained that the Old County Farm Road intersection would be closed if Highway 47 is widened from five lanes to two lanes.
“That will make that intersection that much worse,” Zimmermann told members of the city’s parks, building, development and public service committee.
Alderman Dustin Bailey noted that extending Peters Lane to Highway 47 would create new traffic for the residents of that road, including large trucks from the UPS location on Old Smelter Road.Delivery trucks now use Old County Farm Road for access to Highway 47.
“They run dozens and dozens of UPS trucks on that road,” Bailey said. “We should impact those people as little as possible.”Bailey also questioned if Peters Lane is wide enough for a new intersection at Highway 47.
Zimmermann noted that both Peters Lane, or a new road, would require right of way. Representatives of the Union Special Road District, east of Union, have said that they would commit $100,000 toward a new intersection.The closing of the Old County Farm Road intersection would be in preparation of a widened Highway 47.
Funding for that project could become available if the Legislature passes a bill to put a 1-cent transportation tax before voters.
Highway 47 Widening
The Highway 47 committee, in Franklin County, has formally endorsed the 1-cent transportation sales tax proposal in the Legislature. The proposed tax would generate about $7.9 billion over the 10-year life of the tax statewide.
Committee members have agreed to begin environmental studies, and with the needed studies done in advance, widening Highway 47 between Washington and Union could possibly be done by 2018 if the 1-cent tax is approved.
In 2010, Zimmermann said the construction of the Peters Lane intersection was recommended to be performed in the city’s last transportation plan developed in 1999.
A Peters Lane intersection would give better access from Highway 47 to businesses, including UPS, and residents off Rock Road and Old County Farm Road, officials said then.
There has been some discussion of using federal funding for a new intersection on Highway 47.
Zimmermann said that in order to receive federal Surface Transportation Program funding, city streets must be designated as urban collectors or arterial streets.
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.”If the city moves forward with plans to extend Peters Lane, it would have to be designated as a collector street in order to apply for federal funds.