Union Expressway Project

Submitted Rendering

After filing its application for federal funds for the Union Expressway project, all the city of Union can do now is wait.

The city recently filed its application to receive grant funding for the major Highway 47 project. City Administrator Russell Rost said the applications were sent with a conditional letter of support from the Missouri Department of Transportation.

“Everything we’ve needed to do has been completed and we are now waiting for decisions on the grant applications,” Rost said. “Hopefully in a few months we will know.”

The city should find out in June the status of the grant application. Franklin County also recently applied for federal funds for its share of the project.

Traffic congestion at Highway 47 and Highway 50 has long been an issue for the city of Union. Last year, the city and Franklin County teamed up and came up with a plan that Rost said addresses the issue.

Under that plan, the county would build a new two-lane roundabout at County Farm Road that would lead drivers to the new Union Expressway — a stretch that includes a new bridge over the Bourbeuse River that would connect at the current Highway 47 south intersection.

The county and city are seeking federal funding to pay for the estimated $10.2 million project.

The total local share for the roadway and roundabout would be $3,933,335. The city and county both agreed to a 50/50 split of the local share if both grants are awarded.

Rost said in January the city currently has about $640,000 allocated for its share of the project. The bulk of that, $500,000, comes from the Union Special Road District.

Rost said the city has the next several years to set aside road money for the project in order to reach its roughly $2 million goal.

Without federal funding, the project won’t move forward. The project also stalls out if MoDOT doesn’t agree to support it.

The city had to convince MoDOT the project would work. MoDOT originally had a plan in place that differs from the city of Union.

Under MoDOT’s plan, Highway 47 north would be extended south and run behind Dickey Bub Farm & Home. At some point, the new road would link up with the existing Highway 47 south.

The city is not a fan of that plan, Rost said. For one, MoDOT said it couldn’t start until at least 2050.

Rost also said MoDOT’s plan is more expensive than that city’s idea.

MoDOT has expressed concern about the proposed roundabout.

The city and MoDOT met and reviewed the plan. The city was able to get “conditional” support for the project, Rost said. 

Project Background

According to an estimate provided by Cochran, the project is expected to carry a $10,209,738.01 price tag. That includes $7,882,280 for construction alone. The rest of the money is split between right-of-way acquisition, design work, inspections and testing and a contingency fund.

The city expects to be the only grant applicant from Franklin County. All other municipalities have told the city they won’t be applying this year.

Franklin County and Union both will work to secure funding to create a mile-long, two-lane expressway to bypass the intersection of Highways 50 and 47 in Union. The Union Expressway also would realign the northern section of Highway 47 to meet in a straight line with the southern portion.

The city will be tasked with constructing the Union Expressway while the county will build a roundabout on Highway 47.

The roadway portion of the expressway includes a 2,000-foot section of bridge over the Bourbeuse River and corresponding flood plain.

The design of the expressway will run from Highway 47 at Old County Farm Road to the current alignment of south Highway 47 at Highway 50. The northern end of the expressway will feature a two-lane roundabout on Highway 47 and the southern portion will culminate in a four-way stop intersection.