Three entities have pledged $50,000 each for the proposd Highway 47 study for added lanes between Washington and St. Clair. They are Franklin County, Union and Washington. Still needed is a commitment from St. Clair.
The study is expected to cost about $200,000. St. Clair says it doesn’t have the money and would be hard-pressed to come up with the full $50,000 right now. There are reports that it may give a portion of the requested $50,000.
It might be that road districts may be able to help with commitments toward the remaining $50,000. It’s important that the final amount of money is secured so the study can be made.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) supports a study be made and officials have said repeatedly that it is important to have the study completed, which would put the project in a more “ready” position when funds do become available. There are many examples of how making a study can influence decision-making on selection of projects when there is funding.
There is no question of need to improve Highway 47 in Franklin County between Washington and St. Clair. The traffic count is high, congestion is an everyday occurance, and conditions are going to get worse. MoDOT plans to improve Highway 47 to the north between the Missouri River bridge and Warrenton. An improved Highway 47 from Interstate 70 at Warrenton to Interstate 44 at St. Clair would make a connection that has been needed for many years. It has been discussed for a number of years.
A new bridge over the Missouri River at Washington is going to be built. Construction is expected to begin in late 2016 or early 2017. That is an accompanying improvement to other projects to improve Highway 47.
It’s imperative that the funds for the study be secured as soon as possible. To delay the study means a possible delay for adding lanes to Highway 47.