Two of the five ordinances passed by the St. Clair Board of Aldermen last week pave the way for future road projects within the city on its two busiest streets.

By unanimous votes, the board approved back-to-back ordinances that allow Mayor Ron Blum to accept professional service proposals from Cochran Engineering for roadway improvements on Main Street and Commercial Avenue.

The projects initially were brought up on Sept. 4 as Cochran Vice President David Christensen went through a slide presentation and cost estimate study for each project. The ordinance support came on Sept. 17 during the board’s most recent meeting.

One project would resurface and improve Main Street from North Commercial Avenue to the east end of the city limits at Hickory Street. The other would widen Commercial Avenue from Highway 47 to Oak Street and include a middle turning lane and a sidewalk.

The ordinances approved last week cover the city’s costs to Cochran for each project. For Main Street, the amount approved was $140,522. For Commercial Avenue, the figure was $374,427. Construction costs would come on top of that.

When Blum introduced the ordinances as part of the aldermen’s agenda, he reminded board members that they were items presented during the last meeting.

During his presentation earlier this month, Christensen said the Main Street upgrade would be targeted for 2015 while the Commercial project would take place in 2017. The Commercial project would be bid in two phases with Kitchell Avenue being the dividing line.

A unanimous vote by the board during that meeting allowed City Administrator Rick Childers to prepare the ordinances that the city adopted during its most recent meeting. The first costs to the city would be $5,000 application fees for each project.

The Commercial Avenue widening has been on the city’s radar for almost two years. Blum has talked about the project since the beginning of 2011. The Main Street upgrade is new.

Christensen said he would apply for East-West Gateway Coordinating Council grant funding for both projects. If approved, costs would be an 80-20 percent split with the federal funding making up the majority amount. The federal funding would come from the Transportation Improvement Program, which annually receives a boost of money that regional communities request.

Upgraded Streets

The Main Street project would resurface the road from the traffic light at North Commercial Avenue near the US Bank location through the North Main Street residential area, continuing through downtown and ending at the east city limits near Hickory Street at Parkway Village. Curbs and gutters would be included as would new sidewalks from the intersection of East Springfield Road to Hickory Street. New driveway approaches also would be provided.

According to information Christensen provided at the meeting, if all goes according to plan and the city can obtain EWGCC funds, the application process would start in 2013, right of way acquisition in 2014 and construction in 2015.

As far as the costs, Christensen estimated a total price tag of $1.006 million for the 1.4-mile project. The 80-20 split would bill the city $201,160 for construction costs.

The Commercial Avenue project would begin at the same traffic signal as the Main Street project and end at about Oak Street near the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroad overpass.

The project would include widening the busy street to three lanes to include a middle turn lane, adding sidewalks on one side and filling in the side ditches along that stretch of the road.

The Missouri Department of Transportation also could be a part of this project. Christensen said that the state agency has plans to resurface Commercial during the next few years anyway. Since the project includes a new surface, MoDOT may be willing to put those estimated costs toward it.

The time line for this upgrade is to apply for Phase I funding in 2014 and Phase II funding in 2015. The phases then would be combined with right of way acquisition scheduled for 2015 and 2016 and construction in 2017. The total length of the road improvements is about 1.1 miles.

The projected cost for Phase I is $1.34 million with the city’s portion adding up to be $268,262. Cochran’s bill makes St. Clair’s share $449,346, but with MoDOT’s contribution of $282,485, the city’s out-of-pocket expense would be $166,861.

For Phase II, the projected overall cost is estimated at $1.43 million. The city’s 20 percent would equal $286,020, and with Cochran’s bill added, the total would be $480,449. MoDOT’s resurfacing share is projected to be $298,125, leaving an out-of-pocket expense for St. Clair at $182,324.

Childers had said he is hopeful the city could budget for both projects with no tax increases.