The city is poised to receive $150,000 in federal funds to close the cost gap for the Bluff Road improvement project.

The Washington City Council Monday night approved an ordinance entering into an agreement with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to secure accumulated Small Urban Non-Attributable Federal Aid Funds for the street upgrade project.

Washington Director of Public Service John Nilges explained that the estimated cost of the Bluff Road improvement project was higher than budgeted due to the need to replace a box culvert under the roadway.

The Bluff Road work is slated to begin April 2 and be completed July 20.

The city’s engineering department began looking for additional funds in June after becoming concerned about metal piping running under the street.

Nilges has said the pipes were in rough shape and unlikely to survive the improvement project.

Plans call for a 10-foot by 9-foot box culvert to replace the old pipes.

Through a 50-50 cost share grant with the Franklin County Transportation Council (FCTC), the city will receive $100,000.

According to Nilges, the non-attributal $150,000 in addition to the FCTC would make up the difference of what was budgeted for the street project and the estimated cost.

“It makes no sense to spend $800,000 and not fix the pipes underground,” he said.

The non-attributal funds are allocated annually to smaller cities to be used for qualified street projects. Washington receives between $40,000 and $60,000 each year.

Nilges said the city has accumulated about $240,000 in the fund, the remaining fund will be used for a North Main Street sidewalk extension project.

The city must use the funds by 2019.

Scope of Work

The Bluff Road project will include a 4-inch asphalt overlay from Highway 100 to the city limits, possibly 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 project also will add safety improvements with 2-foot shoulders and guardrails along a portion of the road north of Highway 100, and relocation of MoDOT traffic signals and controller and an Ameren light pole.

The East-West Council of Governments approved STP funds for the project in the 2014-17 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the St. Louis region.

The schedule under the highway commission agreement called for bids to be sought in 2017 and the improvements built in 2018.

The STP agreement with the highway commission states that the federal grant is not to exceed the $660,000 amount and that any costs over the project estimate are the city’s responsibility.