Progress has been slow but there may be light at the end of the Augusta Bottom Road saga. A local match is necessary before an application can be filed for a grant to build a new road off the levee in southern Warren County, and there is optimism that there will be cooperation to fulfil that requirement.

There are several key elements to this proposal. One is that the Warren County Commission be a major player as the applicant. The commission is cooperating as the lead entity. Another is that the city of Washington participate in the cost sharing to comprise the match. The city’s Highway and Transportation Committee Monday recommended to the city that it consider participating in the match. The city’s participation is vital to the application. The committee can only recommend and it did so in this matter by a unanimous vote.

The fact that the road serves residents of the Washington School District is a key factor as to why the city should be a participant. The shortcut to Washington, and to the counties to the north, also has other important factors. It will enable residents to the north to access health care facilities in Washington quicker. It also would be used by farmers and be an asset to them. There are many activities in Washington, including the Fair, that are supported by residents of Warren and St. Charles counties. Many residents of the two counties work in Washington and it will serve some of them. It also would be a quicker link to the attractions in the two counties to the north, particularly the wineries.

Washington has a number of vital ties to communities and residents of the counties to the north and a new Augusta Bottom Road would be a much safer link. We all know how dangerous the present road is. The new road would be just north of the levee.

Putting the application package together is the Boonslick Regional Planning Commission. It has taken the leadership role along with the Warren County Commission.

Washington’s participation is vital and this project is one that will benefit this area for many years in the future. That’s the “big picture” that we must not lose sight of.