Community leaders should learn by the end of September whether or not Warren County is in line for a disaster grant to construct a new Augusta Bottom Road.
Eric Maninga, MoDOT area engineer for Warren, Lincoln and Montgomery counties, said Monday that he spoke last week with Steve Etcher, executive director of the Boonslick Regional Planning Commission.
Etcher has been working to obtain a federal disaster grant through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to replace the current gravel road, which sits on top of a levee, with a new road on the north side.
Maninga told members of the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee that Etcher had not heard back yet on the status of the application but that he expects word by the end of next month.
Last month, the Washington City Council agreed to provide up to $70,000 in matching funds provided the grant is approved. The city’s funds would be applied toward building the section through what is known as the Augusta Parkway, which is bounded by large ponds left after the 1993 Missouri River flood.
The Warren County Commission has agreed to put up a 20 percent match to build 1.6 miles of the 1.85-mile road. But Warren County will not contribute to the Augusta Parkway section which it claims is under the jurisdiction of the town of Augusta.
Even though the road is not in Washington’s jurisdiction, the transportation committee has been pushing for improvements to the bottom road for many years because it serves as a vital link between Washington and areas of west St. Charles County, including Augusta.
Those efforts were intensified after a 16-year-old Washington girl died in late 2010 when she crashed her car into one of the large ponds along Augusta Parkway.
The total project is estimated to cost about $3 million. The local match for the Augusta Parkway section is projected to be $100,000. In addition to the $70,000 pledged by Washington officials, Augusta proposes to allocate $10,000 a year for three years toward the match.
The federal Economic Development Administration has allocated $51 million for disaster projects from the 2011 fiscal year in a 10-state area that includes Missouri.
Warren County qualifies because it had three disaster declarations last year.
“We’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it,” Maninga said when he was asked what will be the next step if a grant is not approved.
Highway 47 Projects
Maninga told the committee that funding for several Highway 47 improvements in Warren County is in the recently approved State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
He said Highway 47 is scheduled to be resurfaced from Warrenton to Washington in 2014. Shoulders will be added to the highway as part of that improvement.
Also in 2014, the state plans to realign Highway 47 along the Hopewell Hill section, Maninga said. That section has several hairpin curves that run along a deep ravine.
MoDOT currently is looking at three options for the realignment project, Maninga explained.
“We’d like to eliminate two of the sharp curves,” he noted.
Another project will be to replace the Highway 47 bridge at Route 94 at Dutzow, Maninga said.
“We want to do that before the new Washington bridge is built,” he told the committee.
Asked about plans to improve Route TT — another curvy road — from Highway 94 to Route T, Maninga said he understands that there are plans to add shoulders in some areas.
But that is not in the STIP “yet,” said Judy Wagner, MoDOT area engineer for Franklin County. She said there are no plans at this time to realign the Route TT hill, which is in the MoDOT St. Louis district.
Shoulders will be added to Highway 94 in 2015, under the new STIP, Maninga said. The road also will be resurfaced then.