Four options for a biking and walking trail from the north side of a proposed new Highway 47 Missouri River bridge to the Katy Trail in southern Warren County were discussed Tuesday during a meeting with representatives of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
Such a trail would create a biking/hiking link from Washington to the Katy Trail.
Tuesday’s meeting was held at the Marthasville City Hall.
“There was no unanimous solution,” remarked Erik Maninga, area engineer for MoDOT’s Northeast District, which includes Warren County. “All the options have pros and cons.”
Questions which were not answered during the meeting included a source of funding for the project — initially estimated at $500,000 — and who would be responsible for maintenance of the biking and walking trail after it is constructed.
A funding source likely will be identified once a decision is made on which option will be pursued, Maninga said.
However, he noted that one opinion, which was shared by several people at the meeting, was the desire for the project to be completed without additional right of way acquisition.
Discussion of the trail project “was spurred by the bridge project,” Maninga remarked.
The new bridge will be designed with a 10-foot biking and walking lane on the west side separated from vehicular traffic by a barrier wall, said Judy Wagner, area engineer for MoDOT’s St. Louis District, which includes Franklin County.
Wagner stated that MoDOT officials would like to “make sure a connection to the Katy Trail is incorporated with the new bridge.
“It’s going to be important to get all the entities involved together and make a logical decision,” she added.
MoDOT included the new bridge at Washington in its recently approved 2013-17 State Transportation Improvement Program. It is scheduled for construction in 2017.
The first trail option discussed, adding 6-foot asphalt shoulders along both sides of Highway 47 from the bridge to Highway 94 at Dutzow, would not require the acquisition of additional right of way because MoDOT already owns the easements. The shoulders would be striped and marked as a biking/hiking trail.
The shoulders will be added as part of a major resurfacing project on Highway 47 — scheduled to be done in 2013 — between Warrenton and Washington.
The remaining three options include:
• Construction of a separate, 10-foot bike path along the east side of Highway 47. That option would require acquisition of right of way.
• Designating the path along the shoulder on the east side from the bridge to Warco Road, then extending it east along Warco Road and Washington Regional Airport right of way to the Katy Trail.
• Build an expanded 10-foot-wide shoulder on the east side of Highway 47 which would include a 4-foot buffer between the path and the driving lane.
Maninga said he would take the feedback given during the meeting and present that information to MoDOT district engineers and management staff “to figure out which option we should pursue.”
Including Maninga, there were 15 people at the meeting, representing a number of entities, including:
The city of Washington, the city of Marthasville, the Boonslick Regional Planning Commission, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Three Creeks Village, Revolution Cycles, the Dutzow Bottom Levee Association, Great Rivers Greenways and MoDOT.