There are no plans to relocate the Old County Farm Road intersection at Highway 47 during state widening plans.
That is according to Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Area Engineer Judy Wagner who met with city officials last week.
Wagner said there are MoDOT plans to widen Highway 47 from Highway 50 to just north of Old County Farm Road.
The work, slated to begin in 2015, includes the addition of lanes to north of the bridge over Flat Creek.
There had been discussion of incorporating Old County Farm Road realignment into the construction project, but that is not feasible, according to Wagner.
“We are trying to get as capacity on (Highway) 47 as we can, but we can’t get past Old County Farm Road,” she said.
There will be changes to the intersection, including a dedicated lane for turning traffic, she added.
Wagner said there will not be signals at that intersection, and city officials must decide if they want to relocate that road for a future widening project.
She said there are no immediate plans to widen a longer stretch of Highway 47 because there is no funding for a project of that scale.
“That’s the kind of thing we have to deal with until we have the funds to widen Highway 47 to Washington,” said Wagner.
Union and other entities have pledged funds for a study of the Highway 47 corridor between Washington and St. Clair.
Plans to widen the north/south artery took a step backward when the Legislature failed to pass a transportation sales tax bill this year.
Wagner said a new revenue source, such as a transportation tax, will be needed before widening funds would be available.
City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann has said there were two options for a new intersection, to replace the Old County Farm Road intersection, on Highway 47. Those include an extension of Peters Lane to the west or a new intersection south of Peters Lane, which 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.
Alderman Vicki Jo Hooper said the residents in the Peters Lane area don’t want additional traffic on their street.
“There are a lot of people in that area who are not happy that their property would be exposed to more traffic,” she 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.