It may take less excavation, and cost less, to eliminate the “hump” on 14th Street, west of Jefferson Street.

City Engineer Dan Boyce told council members this week that city workers did two test borings at the hump and they dug down 54 to 55 inches before hitting rock.

“Now we’re trying to identify the depth of utilities in the street,” Boyce said. “We’ve identified some.”

Some council members want the hump removed as a safety measure in conjunction with the 14th Street extension west of Stafford Street.

That’s because 14th Street is proposed to be used as a bypass next year during the project to widen Highway 100 to four lanes from Highway 47 west to a point 800 feet west of High Street.

The city and MoDOT have a cost-sharing agreement to finance the Highway 100 widening project and MoDOT officials said there could be a cost savings if the state can close High Street at Route 100 and divert traffic over 14th Street while the intersection is being improved.

City officials are concerned about leaving the hump in with the anticipated increase in traffic on 14th.

Vehicles must slow down at the hump or risk bottoming out.

“We think we can take it down in the neighborhood of 2 feet,” Boyce said, rather than an earlier estimate of 3 to 4 feet.

At the same time, the plan is to lower the crown on Jefferson Street at the intersection to make for a smoother transition, Boyce said.

“I think we can avoid retaining walls,” he remarked. There will be some expense in adjusting the loops in the pavement for the traffic lights at the intersection, Boyce noted.

He said he wil be talking with utility companies about how soon they can schedule relocating poles and lines.

“We’ll try our best to get it done while the asphalt plants are still open,” Boyce said.

He did not have a precise cost estimate for the work but said he should have one for the council soon.

Both 14th and Stafford streets are scheduled for resurfacing in 2014 under an 80-20 federal grant. However, that grant does not include money to remove the hump, it was pointed out.