The city of Washington plans to seek a grant through the Great Streets Initiative to begin planning improvements along a stretch of Fifth Street through town.
During a committee meeting Monday night, city council members authorized the staff to proceed with filing an application with the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. Applications are due by Aug. 3 and a staff member will attend a symposium project workshop this Friday, July 27, on the process, according to Darren Lamb, community and economic development director.
East-West Gateway recently announced a second round of funding for the Great Streets Initiative, which will involve a “detailed preliminary design project for selected streets throughout the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area,” Lamb said in a letter to the council.
Labadie was one of four areas awarded grants in the first round of the program.
Lamb said East-West Gateway expects to choose two to three streets for this next round, with a maximum funding level of $300,000 per project. The program would provide 80 percent, or $240,000, and the city would be responsible for 20 percent, or $60,000, Lamb explained.
The money would be used for planning and design of the improvements, not construction.
However, Lamb said, if the city receives a grant and the project is designed, it will stand a better chance in the future to be placed on the annual Transportation Improvement Program for funding.
“We anticipate this selection process to be highly competitive,” he said in the letter.
Lamb said after meeting with staff and receiving input from Downtown Washington Inc., the consensus was to submit Fifth Street as the city’s project. The section chosen would be from Highway 47 west to Stafford Street.
“It is recognized as a major transportation corridor in a number of plans — Envision Washington, the Downtown Revitalization Plan, etc. With several opportunities for redevelopment along the corridor and after reviewing the criteria in the selection process, staff feels it best exemplifies this initiative through East-West Gateway,” Lamb said.
“It is a multi-modal corridor including pedestrians, bicyclists and carries the largest traffic count of all city-maintained streets — 9,000 to 10,000 average daily traffic count,” his letter states.
Possible improvements or enhancements could include some type of uniform signage, decorative street lighting, making the route more pedestrian friendly where possible and installation of ADA (Adults With Disabilities Act) facilities, Lamb told The Missourian.
According to a proposed timetable for the second round, projects will be selected Aug. 10, followed by advertising for consultant proposals in September. Once a consultant is selected, the planning and design work would be done during the first six months of 2013.