The new traffic signal at Highway 50 and Progress Parkway could be operational as early as next week.

City Administrator Russell Rost said he was told, weather permitting, work could be finished this week.

Rost said painting crews are expected to finish the installation of the stop bars Tuesday. Arrows and yield bars also will be completed, and conflicting striping will be removed.

Lane lines will be done at a later time. When the paint crew finishes everything but the lane lines, Ameren is scheduled to provide power to the signal.

That could happen as early as Wednesday, according to an email to Rost from Jeff Stirnemann, construction inspector at CBB Transportation Engineers and Planners.

When the signal has power, it will then be set in flash mode with red and yellow flashing lights. MoDOT requires signals to flash for a three-day period.

Weather permitted, the flash period would end Saturday and the signal could be turned on “first thing next week,” Stirnemann said. 

Project Background

The new traffic signal was supposed to be a quick and easy summer project.

The city had originally hoped to have everything finished with the signal by the Fourth of July. It awarded the contract to Reinhold Electric, St. Louis, during a special meeting in May order to speed the project up.

The project will cost $194,134.50.

The city quickly found out work would be delayed and the signal wouldn’t be ready for the Fourth of July. In June, City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann reported that arms and posts were on back order and needed at least 13 weeks to arrive.

Work finally started in mid-August, but crews faced another delay because of more missing parts. In September, Zimmermann said anchor bolts were not available and that prevented concrete from being poured.

The bolts are encased in concrete, he said, and are vital to the structural integrity of the traffic signal.

Work resumed in October and concrete was poured for the four posts. Crews took several weeks off to let the concrete cure and returned to the site the first week of November. 

Just before Christmas, the arms and posts were installed moving the project closer to completion.

Signal Need

Rost told The Missourian the project is necessary because of development in the area.

“The intersection now, that’s where the improvements to Highway 50 ended and Highway 50 goes from four lanes back to two,” Rost said. “It’s the major entrance to our industrial park and the new Veterans Memorial Park and some housing that has been developed so the traffic volume has increased.”

The project consists of installing the new traffic signal with flashing yellow arrow traffic signal heads and wireless interconnect to the adjacent signal at Prairie Dell.

MoDOT will take over the signal once the work is finished.

The project is part of an agreement between the city and the Union Development Corporation. Funds were set aside from the sale of industrial property to pay for the work, Rost said.