Committee Mulls Detours During Project - The Missourian: Communities

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Committee Mulls Detours During Project

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Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012 5:32 pm | Updated: 8:54 pm, Sat Jun 22, 2013.

City staff will revise a proposed truck route to be used during the construction of a roundabout at Independence Drive and Washington Avenue.

The city’s personnel, finance and public works committee Monday asked City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann to develop a new route to avoid the construction, which is slated to begin this year.

The initial proposed route would direct industrial park traffic coming from southbound Highway A to CC Camp Road, then south on Church Street and west on Park Road.

But officials said there is a 90-degree turn on CC Camp Road where it is difficult for tractor-trailers to make a turn.

Alderman Bob Schmuke, who drives a tractor-trailer for Pepsi Cola Bottling Company in New Haven, drove the proposed detour. He explained that he drove the route without a load in the truck, and still had to drive into another lane to make the 90-degree turn.

Schmuke added that driving a truck with a full load, or on ice and snow, would be much more difficult.

“We don’t want tractor-trailers on that road,” he said.

Zimmermann said the route was chosen because it was the shortest to the industrial park and it would require fewer signs to direct traffic.

In the same route, traffic from southbound Highway 47 would be directed to Independence Drive, to Church Street and then Park Road.

Instead, it was suggested that tractor-trailers be routed from Highway A, east onto Clearview Road, and south on Highway 47. From Highway 47, the traffic would be routed to Highway 50 west, to Independence Drive.

“For the time difference, I think they (truck drivers) would appreciate going Highway 47 to Highway 50 then to take the side streets,” said Alderman Paul Arand.

Schmuke said the trucks could be routed from Highway 47 to Central Avenue, then onto Church Street to Park Road.

Weight Limits

Schmuke suggested that there be weight limits on city streets, which would prohibit vehicles that weigh more than 45,000 to 50,000 pounds — that would keep some detoured traffic off side streets, including CC Camp Road.

He noted that school buses and trash trucks still could travel on city streets.

“I suggest we write tickets for overweight limits,” he said.

Road Closed Signs

Zimmermann noted that there would be portable “Road Closed Ahead” and “Detour” signs posted where motorists, including truck drivers, could turn off.

However, he explained that many truck drivers don’t heed those warnings if they can’t see any work ahead.

Zimmermann added that CC Camp Road is close enough to the construction site that drivers will be able to see that the road is closed.

“We are hoping they would be able to see the site so they don’t feel the need to drive through the signs,” he said.

“One thing we learned from Main Street (roundabout construction) is that they (drivers) don’t pay attention to signs,” Zimmermann added.

If the route is changed to direct traffic from Highway A to Clearview Road, there would be a sign placed at that intersection.

Scope of Work

Work on Independence Drive is tentatively scheduled for March or April 2013. The roundabout will replace a signalized intersection.

The Independence Drive plans have been approved by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and is in the TIP (Transportation Improvement Program) for the St. Louis region.

The scope of work includes resurfacing, and installation of new curb and gutter from Highway 50 to Highway 47.

The funds require a local match of 20 percent, $214,732, while 80 percent, $858,932, of the project would be funded federally through a grant administered through the East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGW).

Other than the roundabout, another change to the roadway is a northbound turn lane into Union High School. The lane will be located near the driveway of the Union R-XI administrative offices.

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