It is a busy time for all communities in Franklin County as they prepare for warm weather and upcoming road projects in their districts and towns.

Several of those projects were discussed Thursday at the Franklin County Transportation Committee meeting.

County Highway Administrator Ron Williams shared his thoughts on several ongoing issues within the committee and involving future transportation projects.

Trump Plan

In a new effort to spark infrastructure improvements, especially in the transportation arena, President Donald Trump has announced a new Federal Infrastructure Program.

Much like the Recovery and Reinvestment Act initiated by President Barack Obama, Trump has directed his staff to allow states to receive funding only if a project can get underway in 90 days, which means a project must be shovel ready.

No official announcement has been made to this point, but Williams wanted city officials to be aware should the announcement be made.

Jonathan Zimmermann, representing the City of Union and the Union Special Road District, urged committee members to review past road projects that may have been shelved and told them this would be a good time to dust them off and update.

Bend Road Bridge

After a fall groundbreaking, work is progressing on the Bend Road Bridge replacement outside Pacific. The $5 million project, which is the largest ever undertaken by Franklin County, has piers in the river under construction.

Williams added, at some point, most likely in the spring, Bend Road will need to be closed in order for Lehamn Construction to construct the end bent on the bluff side and place a large culvert across Bend Road on the bluff side.

He estimates both of these projects will be done at the same time to keep closures at a minimum.

Before any closures are made, motorists will be notified so they can plan alternate routes.

TIP

Williams said the latest round of Transportation Improvement Program applications have been submitted and the public comment period began Friday.

Comments can be made for or against particular construction projects via the East-West Gateway Council of Governments website.

The comments and applications for transportation funding projects will be reviewed by the Missouri Transportation Planning Committee at its May meeting.

Grants

Each year, the committee awards funding for transportation improvements to communities in the county through taxes collected throughout the year.

Grant applications will be sent out electronically in early May. The committee will discuss the grants further at its May meeting and the funding levels also will be reviewed since audited revenues for 2016 will be available.