Augusta Bottom Road Closed

This road closure sign was placed along Augusta Bottom Road near Highway 47 in southern Warren County.

The war of words and roads between St. Charles and Warren counties escalated this week.

Two St. Charles County officials have proposed a new deal with Warren County they call the “Good Neighbor Policy.”

County Councilman Joe Brazil and St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann say the deal requires Warren County to make a reasonable effort to keep Augusta Parkway open and available for safe travel by the public.

In return, St. Charles County will continue to maintain three St. Charles County roads used mainly by Warren County residents. The roads include Borgmann Road, which leads to Lake Sherwood Estates, Joerling Lane and Schultz Road.

Brazil said that if Warren County refuses the agreement, St. Charles County may refuse to maintain the three roads. He concedes, however, that he may lack the council votes needed to close the roads entirely.

The Augusta Parkway portion of the bottom road was “unofficially” closed last month by the town of Augusta after its new insurance carrier refused to provide liability coverage unless the town shut down the section of the road where a 16-year-old Washington girl was killed in a car crash in 2010.

Warren County Presiding Commissioner Arden Engelage said he is disappointed in Ehlmann’s comments.

“We do maintain Augusta Bottom Road,” he said. Engelage said Warren County maintains its portion of the road from Highway 47 to Augusta Parkway.

“We’re not going to take the (parkway) over,” he said. “It doesn’t meet our standards. It is on top of a pond levee.”

Engelage said Warren County commissioners would like to sit down with Ehlmann and look for a solution.

“Rather than call names, we’d like to find a way to solve this problem,” he said.

A lawsuit filed by the family of Ella Neier, who died after her car ran off the parkway and crashed into a pond, is still pending against Warren and St. Charles counties and the city of Washington.

Augusta was dropped from the lawsuit after an undisclosed settlement was reached between the plaintiffs and the town’s insurance carrier. That insurance company terminated its contract with Augusta. A different company agreed to provide liability coverage but only on the condition that Augusta close the parkway.