The city of Union and Franklin County are poised to approve formal agreements to seek funding for the Highways 47 and 50 interchange.
The plan is to show funding agencies, such as East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGW), that they are serious about working together to seek a funding mechanism for the project.
“It is looking positive for the not too distant future,” said Franklin County Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker.
“Instead of decades, we are talking a handful of years for the interchange, potentially,” he added.
EWGW is a regional planning entity which serves as a clearinghouse for federal funds in the St. Louis area.
On Monday, Brinker told the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee that the Union Board of Aldermen and the county commission both will review a memorandum of understanding (MoU) indicating to EWGW that the entities involved in the Highways 47 and 50 realignment are working together.
Included in the partnership is the Union Special Road District.
Brinker noted that the city and county, through the engineering firm Cochran, will seek grants through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) administrated through EWGW.
CMAQ funds can be used for traffic flow improvement, demand management, shared ride services, bicycle/pedestrian facilities, transit vehicles/facilities, and operating assistance for new transit service.
The city of Union and Franklin County are working with Cochran to conduct a design study related to the realignment of Highway 47 and Highway 50.
Cochran will be evaluating and analyzing three proposed realignment options first discussed in the Highway 47 Corridor Study from November 2018. The plans are a north and south realignment option.
A study was recently done on Highway 47 and a number of realignment options were presented.
While it’s not finalized, officials have said the design would focus on the realignment route that goes behind Dickey Bub Farm & Home.
The plan would reroute Highway 47 to the west of Dickey Bub. At that point, Highway 47 North and South would connect, eliminating the need for drivers to turn onto Highway 50 to access Highway 47 South.
During Monday’s transportation committee meeting in Washington, Chairman Bill Straatmann said Jim Wild with EWGW noted that the agency recognizes a need for funding in this area.
“We definitely have the ear and the eye of EWGW,” Brinker added.