The desire of one city alderman for Pacific to accept responsibility to maintain the strip of land between the eastbound Interstate 44 off and on ramps at the city’s entrance is not uncommon, according to Judy Wagner MoDOT area engineer.
“There was a little bit of confusion in reports after I talked with Steve Myers,” Wagner said. “I can’t deed that land to the city because it’s part of the federal highway system, but the city could adopt and maintain it.”
Myers, Pacific Ward 2 alderman, wants the city to take over maintenance of the wedge of land and install attractive landscaping to enhance the entrance to the city.
Half a dozen cities in the region mow MoDOT highway properties in clover leafs and shoulders at the entrance to their cities.
Some of the sites maintained by municipalities are larger than the tract of land at the Pacific entrance. St. Clair, Festus and Wentzville, as well as other cities, cut MoDOT grass at their entrances.
Cities are required to provide their own equipment and control traffic.
“It can be difficult to do,” Wagner said. “I explained to Steve that the city would have to provide traffic control as crews cut the grass. They’d have to close one lane and put “shoulder work ahead” signs signaling oncoming traffic. It’s very difficult to do.”
If the city does nothing, MoDOT is currently cutting the roadside properties three times a year.
“We had plans to cut four times, but there was so much rain this spring it was just too muddy,” Wagner said.
Wagner also said she believes the city could get a one-time enhancement grant to install some landscaping in the wedge, but the city would have to accept responsibility for ongoing cutting and maintenance.