The Missouri Department of Transportation is planning to hold an open house meeting in December to give property owners and stakeholders along Highway A, between Washington and Union, a chance to view preliminary improvement plans.

The state is planning to resurface the highway, add 2-foot shoulders where possible and make other improvements.

A tentative date for the open house is Wednesday, Dec. 12, but that could change depending on the availability of a meeting place, according to Judy Wagner, MoDOT area engineer. The open house likely would run from 2 to 7 p.m.

In July, the project was included in the 2013-17 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

The project also is listed in the 2013-16 federal Transportation Program (TIP) that was approved last month by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, the planning agency for the St. Louis Metropolitan region.

Wagner said there are 80-plus property owners along Highway A who may be affected by the project and MoDOT wants to inform them of the plans to make the roadway safer for motorists and get their input.

“We’re moving forward with the plans,” Wagner said.

The project is designed to preserve that section of roadway — which has seen a major increase in traffic in recent years — as well as add 2- to 3-foot shoulders, soften curves, add guardrails where needed and improve drainage facilities.

The work is projected to cost a total of $4,085,000, according to the STIP.

Wagner said the project will require replacement of culvert pipes along the route.

There is no money allocated for the purchase of right of way, she noted.

“If some property owners aren’t agreeable to donating right of way we won’t have shoulders in some areas,” she said.

Wagner said MoDOT engineers also are looking at making improvements at the Highway A/Pottery Road intersection to improve safety there.

State and local officials have been pushing for improvements along the highway for many years.

In July 2005, the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee drafted a letter urging MoDOT to find funds for safety improvements along Highway A.

In 2009, Franklin County applied for $3,096,910 in economic stimulus funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Highway A. That project, however, was among 17 applications by local government entities in the county that were not approved for funding.

Last summer, work crews made pavement repairs along the entire stretch between Union and Washington.

Surveying work for the major improvement project continued this summer.

Wagner has said before that surveyors found that the right of way does not follow the actual roadway in some areas.

Before Highway 47 was extended in the 1960s, Highway A was the primary connection between Washington and Union and areas to the south.