It’s not likely that the city could complete a new intersection at Old County Farm Road by 2015, a request by state highway representatives that caught city officials off guard.
City Administrator Russell Rost told the city’s personnel, finance and public works committee Monday that Missouri Department of Transportation Area Engineer Judy Wagner asked if the city could build the new intersection prior to the widening of Highway 47.
He explained that the Old County Farm Road intersection would be closed if Highway 47 is widened from five lanes to two lanes.
According to Rost, Franklin County Highway Administrator Eva Gadcke also expressed that she would like a new intersection for better access to the county maintenance facility on Riverview Place, but did not say that the county would help fund the cost of the intersection.
“That would be a pretty substantial burden on the city,” said Rost.
He added that during Highway 47 committee meetings, city officials had not been asked to realign the intersection in that time frame.
“We’ve been at meetings and have never been asked before that meeting,” Rost said.
If the city can’t construct a new intersection by the time Highway 47 works begins, the Old County Farm Road would be a right in and right out only intersection, which could be a burden to county trucks, UPS trucks and other businesses and residences in that area.
“It is already difficult to get trucks in and out of there,” Rost said.
In February, City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said he would study options to connect roadways east of Highway 47 north when the Old County Farm Road intersection is closed.
At that time, he said there were two options for a new intersection on Highway 47, including an extension of Peters Lane to the west or a new intersection south of Peters Lane.
Peters Lane is located off of Rock Road.
Zimmermann noted that both options are costly. Extending Peters Lane would require right of way, and a new intersection would require the construction of new streets.
“The problem with shifting the intersection to the north is we have to build quite a bit of roadway to connect it,” he said.
Rost added that a signalized light would cost between $150,000 and $180,000.
Zimmermann added that both options would take more than two years to complete.
“I don’t see how we can get it done on that time frame,” he said.
Representatives of the Union Special Road District, east of Union, have said that they would commit $100,000 toward a new intersection.
Zimmermann suggested that the city hire a firm to determine the best option for a new intersection.
“We should hire someone to look at the proposed roads, put a cost to it and go from there,” he said.
In 2010, Zimmermann said the construction of the Peters Lane intersection was recommended to be performed in the city’s last transportation plan developed in 1999.
A Peters Lane intersection would give better access from Highway 47 to businesses, including UPS, and residents off Rock Road and Old County Farm Road, officials said then.
There has been some discussion of using federal funding for a new intersection on Highway 47.
Zimmermann said that in order to receive federal Surface Transportation Program funding, city streets must be designated as urban collectors or arterial streets.
The urban collectors within the city limits are West Park Road, Church Street, Springfield Avenue, Prairie Dell Road, Denmark Road, College Road and Main Street. There are two “minor arterial” streets in the city — Washington Avenue and Independence Drive.
Other roads are designated as “local roads.”
If the city moves forward with plans to extend Peters Lane, it would have to be designated as a collector street in order to apply for federal funds.