City officials have turned to MoDOT for funding to hire a traffic engineer to help craft a viable commercial truck route from Interstate 44 to the city’s industrial park on Denton Road.

Officials have been plagued for years with complaints from citizens who see tractor-trailers driving on their residential streets to get to the industrial park.

The police department uses manpower several times a week to help truckers back around a 90-degree turn when they reach the Bend Bridge on South Highway N and cannot cross it.

Police Chief Matt Mansell said signs placed on area roads are not effective because truckers use the global positioning (GPS) systems in their cabs for direction.

Aldermen have discussed establishing a designated truck route through the city and crafting a directional system to guide truckers. Several streets have been identified for the route, but the plan would require major street improvements no matter which route is designated.

City Administrator Steve Roth asked aldermen Sept. 5 to approve an application for a MoDOT traffic engineering assistance program (TEAP) grant to fund a commercial truck route study.

Roth said if awarded, the grant funds would be used to study and recommend alternate truck routes that aldermen had discussed earlier in the year.

Possible areas of study include the Osage Street Route 66, I-44 business loop, MoDOT Routes F and OO, Fourth Street and Denton Road, Old Gray Summit Road, Congress Street and Highway N, Jefferson Street, Candlewick Lane and Industrial Drive.

The study area also includes the greater Downtown Pacific area generally bounded by Osage Street to the north, Fourth Street to the west and Neosho Street to the east.

Roth said a traffic study could be used to seek federal funds and seek functional classification of certain roads to make them eligible for federal funding.

Aldermen approved the application for the study grant, which is estimated to cost $10,000. The grant would be an 80-20 match, which would require the city to pay $2,000.

If the grant is awarded, the city will negotiate a contract with a selected traffic-engineering firm.

Final scope of the services and contract terms would be subject to board of aldermen acceptance.