There will be delays for the next 18 months to two years while Route A between Washington and Union is improved. The work on the two-lane stretch of roadway will be a test of patience for motorists.

It is a somewhat unusual roadway. It was built in the days of the horse and buggies and when teams of horses pulling wagons were not unusual. Where possible it was built on high ground, along ridges, which was the practice at that time. High ground was used to take care of drainage problems. Homes and a few businesses were built close to the narrow roadway. Because of hills, curves and no shoulders to speak of, it was the scene of many accidents. At “dead-man’s” curve, accidents were a regular occurrence, especially on weekends. Speed and drinking caused many accidents.

Mailboxes were built along Route A close to the pavement. Many will have to be replaced during construction and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) will assume the cost. Because of all of the growth that has occurred along Route A, rerouting of the roadway in the most hazardous places is not practical — too costly. Adding shoulders wherever possible will be a safety measure. Guardrails also will be installed.

MoDOT has started to replace culverts along the 7.2-mile stretch. The contractor will begin work soon — any day. The culvert work will require the closing of both lanes for periods. That’s why MoDOT has advised using detours. Taking access roads to Highway 47 is the best plan.

The construction price came in under the MoDOT estimate. The total cost will be more than $3 million. This is a long-awaited improvement project. It’s needed.

Caution, alertness and patience are urged during the construction period.