Nightly paving on Bluff Road between Vossbrink Drive and Westlink Drive is slated to wrap up this week as crews prepare for the next leg of work.

According to Washington Public Services Director John Nilges, paving is scheduled to be complete Thursday — but the project is weather dependent. 

During this week’s work, Nilges explained to the Washington City Council Monday, that motorists should allow themselves additional time to access Lange Drive and M.E. Frick Drive.

“No delays so far,” Nilges told The Missourian Tuesday. “The goal is to have 90 percent of all improvements done on Phase 1 by the end of the week.”

The next section of work will be from Westlink Drive to Highway 100. 

According to Nilges, Bluff Road will be closed along the stretch, but the Westlink Drive and Bluff Road intersection will be open allowing access to businesses in the Schulze Industrial Park.

While Bluff Road is closed from Highway 100, crews will replace a box culvert near the ZX Gas Station.

Once Bluff Road between Highway 100 and Westlink Drive closes, the only access to the industrial park will be Vossbrink Drive, Westlink Drive and Bluff Road from the west.

In preparation of the 90-day project, crews installed a temporary signal at Vossbrink Drive and Highway 100.

Motorists are urged to use caution while traveling through the intersection during the 90-day project.

Nilges said there is some concern about the traffic traveling eastbound on Highway 100 and cresting a hill west of the Vossbrink Drive intersection.

He added that at the intersection, he has requested the Missouri Department of Transportation to change the timing of the temporary light allowing for longer green lights to access Highway 100 during peak hours. 

That includes times when factories change shifts. He said he has not gotten word if that is possible.

Councilman Jeff Patke commended Nilges on informing the public and working with industries to make the project as smooth as possible.

“Once Bluff at 100 closes, the Vossbrink signal becomes much more heavily utilized,” Nilges added. “We have doubled green signal time from Vossbrink onto 100 during all hours of the day. 

“We will continually monitor,” he added.

This project schedule is subject to change. Additional information will be provided as work progresses. For updated information about closures, people may visit the city of Washington and the city’s emergency management agency Facebook pages, as well as emissourian.com.

Engineering

The city council Monday approved an ordinance allowing the city to enter into a contract with BFA, Inc. for engineering services for the Bluff Road project. The contract is for $61,100 to supplement the engineering department’s personnel during this project.

According to Nilges, the elevated scope of work for the project requires additional engineering beyond what can be done by city staff. 

The ordinance was approved with a 5-0 vote. Council members Susan Watermann, Steve Sullentrup and Greg Skornia were not at the meeting.

Scope of Work

The project includes a 4-inch asphalt overlay from Highway 100 to the north city limits, improving a grade condition by elevating the road north of the approach to Highway 100, and adding a right turn lane from Bluff onto westbound Highway 100.

The work also will add safety improvements with 2-foot shoulders and guardrails along a portion of the road north of Highway 100, and relocation of Missouri Department of Transportation traffic signals and controller and an Ameren light pole.

Project Costs

On June 18, the council approved a contract with KJ Unnerstall Construction, Washington, to conduct the work.

Much of the work will be funded through a Surface Transportation Program (STP) grant.

Unnerstall was the low bidder for the project at $1,228,469. 

The STP grant will fund $591,449.96 of the project, and the city will receive $120,000 from MoDOT Small Urban Non-Attributable Federal Aid Funds that will expire in 2019 if they are not used.

The city also will utilize a Franklin County Transportation Grant of $50,000. The remaining $467,019 will come from the city’s coffers, including $227,450.90 from the city’s transportation sales tax and $223,772.14 from the stormwater fund. The majority of the culvert replacement will be funded through the city’s stormwater fund.