Bike Paths Coming

The Missouri Department of Transportation has finalized plans to build pedestrian/bike paths along Highway 47, north of the Missouri River bridge, to connect Washington to the Katy Trail at Dutzow.

Erik Manenga, MoDOT District 3 area engineer, said Monday that the state agency plans to construct 8-foot-wide paved shoulders along both sides of Highway 47, from the bridge to Highway 94 at Dutzow.

The paving work will be done this summer in conjunction with other paving projects in the area, Manenga told members of the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee.

Striping of the pedestrian/biking path won’t be done until the new Washington bridge is constructed, he said.

Construction of the new bridge is scheduled for 2017-18 in the current State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).

Highway 47 is scheduled to be resurfaced from the bridge to Warrenton in 2014-15.

“We looked at a lot of options,” Manenga said of the pedestrian path to connect to the Katy Trail.

“We’re calling this a multiuse path,” said Judy Wagner, MoDOT area engineer for Franklin and Jefferson counties. She noted that the wider shoulders will serve both as a pedestrian path and for the movement of wide farm equipment during certain times of years.

Manenga noted that MoDOT will have some work to do at the Highway 47/Route 94 interchange at Dutzow for pedestrians and bikers to access the west side of the trail.

Wagner noted that state law requires bikers to travel in the same direction on roadways as vehicles.

The work at Highways 47-94 likely will involve modifications to traffic signal lights.

“We looked at everything and determined that we could pave 8-foot-wide shoulders for the path,” Manenga told committee members.

Last year there were discussions about constructing a 10-foot-wide biking/hiking trail adjacent to Highway 47, but that was later dropped because MoDOT is not in the business of maintaining trails, Wagner noted. Also, an application for an enhancement grant was denied.

Paving of the 8-foot-wide shoulders would not require acquisition of additional right of way, which adjacent property owners opposed.

When the new Missouri River bridge is built, it will include a 10-foot-wide biking/pedestrian path on the west side of the span.

That will include a structure at the north end to carry hikers and bikers from the bridge path under the span to the path on the east side of Highway 47. That structure will be lighted.

Because the wider, paved shoulders along Highway 47 will be part of MoDOT’s system, the state agency will be responsible for maintaining the path on both sides.

When the wider shoulders are paved, rumble strips will be installed but the bike/pedestrian path won’t be marked until later, Manenga said.

North of the Highway 94 intersection, 4- to 6-foot-wide shoulders will be paved, he noted. Beyond that point, to Warrenton, the highway will have 2-foot-wide shoulders with rumble strips, he said.

“This is really good,” remarked Washington Mayor Sandy Lucy, a committee member.