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Improvements to Route 100 in Wildwood may have to wait

Safety on Route 100 has long been a concern for those residing in Wildwood, especially in regard to its intersection of Hwy. T.

At the Sept. 28 Wildwood City Council meeting, Franklin County resident Renee Allen spoke about the number of accidents that occur at that intersection.

“There are 12 turning options there,” Allen said. “At speeds of 50 mph and above, it’s just a difficult intersection for a lot of people to navigate.”

Allen is not the only one concerned. In November 2017 and again in June 2019, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) performed a traffic study on Route 100 and intersecting roadways from the Franklin/St. Louis County line to Route 109. Two sections of the roadway were studied: one from the county line to Booness Lane, which is a two-lane section with 12-foot lanes, and another from Booness Lane to Route 109, a median-separated, four-lane section with 12-foot lanes.

Traffic volume counts were completed on Pond Road and Route T on Nov. 8, 2017. Counts on Booness Lane, Mueller Road, Pond Grover Loop and Wild Horse Creek Road were taken on June 20, 2019. According to MoDOT, the 2017 counts were inflated and the 2019 counts were balanced between intersections, using higher observed volumes.

Location of MoDOT traffic study (Source: City of Wildwood)

Based on the study’s findings, the following improvements were recommended for implementation:

  • Construct an overlay or micro-surfacing to eliminate confusion between new pavement markings and pavement marking removal scars on existing concrete on Route 100 from the county line east to Booness Lane.
  • Add left-turn lanes for eastbound and westbound Route 100 traffic at Manchester Road/Booness Lane, Woodland Meadows Drive and Windy Hollow Lane/Hawks Rest Road.
  • Add a left-turn lane for westbound Route 100 traffic at Hencken Road.

According to the study, all left-turn locations should be considered for advanced warning signage improvements.

Route 100 from Booness Lane to Route 109

According to the MoDOT study, the recommendation for Route 100 at Route T is the addition of two RCUTs (Restricted Crossing U-Turns) on Route 100. The existing median crossover would be removed; however, the existing through lanes and right-turn lanes of Route 100 will remain unchanged.

The study also recommended an acceleration lane at both RCUTS to allow vehicles additional time to merge with the through lanes.

The recommendation for Route 100 at Pond Road is the addition of a median U-Turn on Route 100. The intersection of Route 100 and Route 109 will function as the U-Turn to the east of Pond Road. The existing median crossover will be removed; the existing through lanes and right-turn lanes of Route 100 will remain unchanged. Again, the study recommends an acceleration lane at the west U-Turn to allow vehicles additional time to merge with the through lanes.

Future recommended work may include additional corridor management with the closure of the remaining crossovers at Wild Horse Creek and Mueller roads.

While the study indicates the need for improvements, MoDOT Lead Engineer Ryan Pearcy told those assembled at the Sept. 28 council meeting that the improvements would not be made in the near future.

According to Pearcy, funds allocated to MoDOT for its Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for the next two years are already committed to other projects.

The top two priorities statewide for MoDOT currently are taking care of the roadway system and working through the American with Disabilities Act Transition Plan, Pearcy said. The transition plan was established to correct 44,611 barriers within MoDOT rights-of-way by August 2027.

Pearcy suggested that the best way to get Route 100 improvements made would be through a cost-share program similar to the one used when MoDOT made repairs to the Route 109 bridge over Route 100 last year. Wildwood partnered with MoDOT to improve the ramps at Route 109 and Route 100, as well as the intersection Route 109 and Main Street.

Route 109 Improvement Plan (Source: City of Wildwood)

However, Mayor Jim Bowlin said he doesn’t see the city doing that on a consistent basis.

“I’m not sure that’s something the taxpayers want to see,” Bowlin said.

Council member Joe Garritano (Ward 8) said the one issue that continues to come up through the years is the safety of the corridor from Route 100 coming into the city of Wildwood on the western edge all the way to Westglen Farms.

In the last three years alone, there were a total of 49 crashes with 89 injuries and two fatalities, he said. 

He asked if there were any interim measures that could be taken while waiting for a permanent solution, something that would bring greater awareness like flashing signals to warn drivers that a light is going to turn red.

Bowlin asked Pearcy to work with Rick Brown, Wildwood’s director of public works, on an interim plan for provisional safety measures and to bring that back to the council in 30 days.

Council member Ken Remy (Ward 3) further asked that MoDOT look for interim measures on Route 109 in front of St. Albans Church. He said he’s heard from a lot of constituents about the need for a potential stoplight at that site.

After the meeting, Bowlin said, “The MoDOT Traffic Study indicates several needed improvements for Hwy. 100 west of Hwy. 109, and I look forward to seeing the joint plan of action I requested so we can begin developing a timeline for commencement of the work.”

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