Bids for the Independence Drive improvement project came in under budget, which means the work could include two alternative components.

Aldermen Monday approved the $981,187 bid by Jokerst Paving and Contracting, Festus, for the street work. The estimated cost was more than $1,073,000.

City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said work should begin this spring.

“We are targeting the end of March, but it could be early April,” he said.

The Independence Drive plans have been approved by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and is in the TIP (Transportation Improvement Program) for the St. Louis region. It requires a local match of 20 percent.

The scope of work includes resurfacing, and installation of new curb and gutter from Highway 50 to Highway 47.

There will be a roundabout intersection to replace the signalized intersection at Washington Avenue.


There are two proposed alternatives to the project, which are included in the $981,187 bid.

A northbound turn lane is proposed on Wildcat Drive into Union High School. The lane will be located near the driveway of the Union R-XI administrative offices.

There also will be portions of the roadway that will have a paving fabric laid.

The fabric is applied under asphalt to minimize the amount of surface water that gets under the pavement and prevents cracks in the road from surfacing.

Zimmermann noted that the fabric will be installed only in some areas to prevent cracking in the paving.

“It will be used in areas of distress,” he said.


The intersection at Independence Drive and Washington Avenue is slated to be closed for 60 days during the construction of the city’s second roundabout.

The traffic light at the intersection has alternated between both a flashing four-way lighted intersection and a timed light intersection several times during the past four years.

The light was changed to a four-way stop during only evening and night hours in April 2008, and then later to a four-way stop 24 hours a day.

Some residents have complained that the four-way stop is unsafe and confusing.

City officials have said roundabouts are safer and less costly to maintain than a lighted intersection.

At roundabouts, vehicles travel counterclockwise around a raised center island, with entering traffic yielding the right of way to circulating traffic. Once there is a gap in traffic, drivers enter the circle and proceed to their exit. If there is no traffic in the roundabout they enter without yielding.

Roundabout intersections are “pedestrian friendly” and cheaper than a signalized intersection, officials have said.


Officials still are considering detour routes, but traffic traveling south on Highway A will likely be detoured onto Highway BB to Highway 50.

The initial proposed route would direct industrial park traffic coming from southbound Highway A to CC Camp Road, then south on Church Street and west on Park Road.

But officials said there is a 90-degree turn on CC Camp Road where it is difficult for tractor-trailers to make a turn.

It was then proposed that traffic on Highway A would be sent on Clearview Drive, but officials later determined that Highway BB is a safer alternative.