We are used to the time it takes for road and street improvements. Finally, after years of discussion on the need for improvements, the state is moving forward on making Route A safer between Washington and Union.
Residents will have the opportunity to view preliminary plans at an open house that probably will be held in December. General plans call for resurfacing, adding 2-foot shoulders where practical and other improvements.
Route A is outdated for today’s traffic. Some of the traffic congestion did shift to Highway 47, but so many people live on and off Route A that most of the traffic is local. Because of residential and commercial growth along Route A, it would be cost prohibitive to widen the lanes and shoulders along the entire route, or to take out some of the curves and other hazardous conditions. Limited rights of way are another problem.
What the state plans to do is the only realistic option.
The project is in the 2013-17 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), and in the 2013-16 federal Transportation Program (TIP) that has been approved by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments for the St. Louis metro area.
The state has identified about 80 property owners along Route A that may be affected by the project. That’s why a large crowd is expected at the open house where plans will be displayed. Cost of the project is expected to be about $4 million. That’s a major project!
Speaking of the time involved, talk of the need to eliminate “deadman’s curve” on Route A between Washington and Krakow was a topic of concern in the 1940s, and perhaps even in the 1930s. It’s still in the same location. At one time there were many accidents there, probably 30 or 40 a year. Most were due to driver error — traveling too fast. Many of the accidents involved fatalities.
“Deadman’s Curve” still will be in the same location under the proposed improvements. That hazard appears to have eternal status!