A decision on what option the state will select for improvements to Highway 47 at Hopewell Hill will not be made until later this month, according to an official with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
Several factors, such as the number of comments received and weather issues resulted in the delay, Erik Maninga, MoDOT area engineer told The Record.
A decision on the project originally was expected by December.
MoDOT received a high volume of feedback on the proposed project which will focus on improvements to the one-mile stretch of roadway south of Warrenton.
Maninga said MoDOT officials are reviewing all the suggestions made.
“We’re going to look at what’s feasible, what’s not feasible and try to address the suggestions raised at the public meeting,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re all on the same page and make the best decision for the folks in that area.”
Additionally, inclement weather which recently affected upper portions of MoDOT’s Northest District have kept officials from discussing the project.
“A lot of our minor roads still have some ice on them,” he stated. “We’ve been pretty busy.”
The Northeast District encompasses Warren, Montgomery and Lincoln counties.
A public meeting on the plan was held last October, and additional comments were accepted via email through Nov. 14.
The area, which is referred to as Hopewell Hill, is a one-mile stretch of roadway along Highway 47 with two sharp S-curves and no shoulders.
According to Maninga, the area has a crash rate double that of similar state roads.
Three options to improve the roadway were presented during the public meeting in October.
The first option, which also is the most costly at an estimated $3.2 million, calls for elimination of two curves and building two 11-foot driving lanes with 4-foot shoulders.
The southern portion of this stretch of the highway also would be relocated slightly east of the its existing location just north of the Coventry subdivision entrance and west of the existing roadway at the northern portion of the stretch.
Safe travel along Hopewell Hill would be possible at speeds of up to 50 mph, compared to the current safe speed of 25 mph.
The second option, estimated at $2.3 million, calls for softening existing curves in the roadway and adding shoulders.
Under this plan, motorists could safely travel along this section of Highway 47 at 40 mph.
The final option, which has an estimated cost of $1.9 million, would involve the addition of 4-foot shoulders.
MoDOT officials have expressed preference for the first option because it would eliminate curves in the roadway.
An estimated 14 acres of right of way would need to be acquired, which also would include taking one house located along the route.
MoDOT plans to begin construction in May 2014 and complete the project no later than the following year. The affected stretch of Highway 47 would have to be closed for approximately three weeks and traffic detoured along other routes.