The city of Union is in the very early stages of partnering with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) for improvements on Highway 47.

In a special meeting Monday night, the board of aldermen approved applying for a cost-share grant being offered through MoDOT for a project to help improve traffic flow. Specific suggestions included fixing the misalignment at Highway 47 and 50; working to reduce the stacking of traffic on Highway 47 at Highway V and Independence intersections; and Highway 47 widening under the railroad bridge north of Old County Farm Road to accommodate traffic.

“The stacking and misalignment are interconnected,” explained City Administrator Russell Rost. “The misalignment requires traffic to stop and redirect, so part of the problem with stacking is the misalignment, but it’s not the only problem.”

MoDOT Area Engineer Judy Wagner said the cost-share program was stopped several years ago, but recently reinstated.

Applications for cost-share projects are due Dec. 29.

Wagner said a total of $5.7 million is available for public entities in 2020.

Funding Available

Rost said conversations began when he received an email from Wagner that funding would be available for Phase II of Highway 50 widening.

Phase I of a Highway 50 project was completed in 2010 and added three lanes on Highway 50, including one eastbound lane, one westbound lane and a turn lane. The project was a partnership between the city of Union, Franklin County and MoDOT.

In an agreement between the city and MoDOT prior to work on Phase I of the Highway 50 widening project, the entities agreed a second phase of work would extend the improvements to I-44. Since then, no funding has been available for Phase II work.

Wagner said that the city has a commitment to finish Highway 50 before beginning other projects, but that MoDOT is willing to reprioritize based on the current needs of the city.

“I’m very excited that the cost-share program has been reinstated by the Highway Commission,” she said. “It offers a lot of opportunity for cities and MoDOT to partner to get important projects built in their cities and counties.”

The board of aldermen favored Highway 47 improvements over the second phase of Highway 50, Rost said.

City officials will meet with MoDOT to discuss a project scope, costs and partnership.