The Highway 47 Corridor Committee met this week to discuss some of the ongoing and planned improvements to the highway between Washington and St. Clair.
MoDOT Area Engineer Judy Wagner said the approval of the Transportation Improvement Program by East-West Gateway last week means funding for a widening project on the highway from Flat Creek to Highway 50 in Union.
Wagner said the plan calls for widening two western lanes and one eastern lane on Flat Creek bridge.
“That will allow us to reconfigure the Main Street intersection all the way to Walgreens, as well as redo the signal there,” she said. The existing signal at Main Street and Highway 47 might not need to be relocated depending on precisely where the additions to the western lanes go.
Wagner said that project will likely require a consultant prior to the start of design and construction work.
The project isn’t scheduled for construction until fiscal year 2015. The total project is estimated to cost $4.6 million, with $760,000 allocated for right of way acquisition.
Wagner said the project includes more than just bridge improvements, but said she’s unaware of any plans of the Union Special Road District to relocate County Farm Road.
County Farm Road intersects Highway 47 north of the bridge.
Wagner said she wants to improve the Highway 47 South intersection at Highway 50 as well, noting the current intersection has a steep grade and multiple accesses in close proximity because of the number of businesses in the area.
The new Missouri River bridge on Highway 47 in Washington is the most expensive in the works along the corridor.
Wagner said HDR Engineering and the state are negotiating the scope of services and the costs for design of the new bridge.
“They’re putting a fee to that scope and then we can negotiate back and forth as needed,” she said.
That project is in the state’s Surface Transportation Improvement Program, but not East-West Gateway’s TIP.
Wagner said the state is taking a risk by having the project in the STIP when it isn’t in the TIP because they’re “anticipating our federal partners will be on board.”
Design for the project should be completed by the end of next year, she said.
The city of Washington and Franklin and Warren counties will have to pay MoDOT their pledged amounts for aesthetic additions to the bridge by the end of this year, Wagner noted.
A committee has been formed to discuss what sort of additions will be made.
In St. Clair, the intersection of Highway 47 and Interstate 44 also is being improved.
Wagner said the intersection is getting traffic signals and a new intersection for the I-44 outer road.
She said that project is suppose to be completed by about Dec. 5, but said it might be delayed because of issues with the nearby St. Clair airport.
Another possible, but smaller, improvement could be at the Route AD and Highway 47 intersection.
Wagner said she has been allocated federal funding for safety improvements and that the AD and 47 intersection is a safety issue.
She said improvements could include additional traffic signage, flashing lights or other work.
MoDOT personnel will have to review crash data to determine exactly what kind of improvements would be best, Wagner said.
“The money is there, we just have to figure out what to do with it,” she said. “Right now, our resources are very stretched.
“The only way (to get things done), with today’s level of funding, is to do projects piecemeal,” Wagner said.