After a lengthy discussion, the Wildwood Administration and Public Works Committee recommended approval for the public works department to move forward with applications for federal grants on three road projects – a roundabout at Old State and Ridge roads, construction of J-Turns at St. Albans and Pond roads, and construction of new turn lanes at several side roads on Hwy. 100.
At the committee’s
“The need for something at that intersection is huge,” said Jerry Leeker. “Old State Road has become a very busy area. There (have) been lines of traffic backed up trying to make a left turn.”
It would be foolhardy not to do this, he said.
Resident Mike Ritter said driving down Old State approaching Ridge Road during the hours of 7 to 9:30 in the morning and 4 to 6:30 at night is pretty chaotic.
Vicki Pearce said she shared that concern. She has two children who attend Ridge Meadows Elementary School.
“The buses have a great deal of trouble leaving Ridge Road at the Old State intersection to turn left and to turn right and it does create a big traffic jam,” she said. “When you are coming up to Ridge Road there is a blind spot, when you’re trying to turn left or off of Ridge Road onto Old State.
“It will only get more dangerous, as more and more people move to the area and more and more people are driving this route.”
Public Works Director Rick Brown estimated the cost for the design and construction of the roundabout at $2.3 million. Since this would be a federally-funded project, the local match would be 20% or $230,000.
Brown was able to confirm with Ellisville City Administrator Bill Schwer that Ellisville would be willing to commit up to $250,000 toward the local match, since the project spans both cities.
Committee member Michael Gillani believes the intersection is dangerous not only from a safety component but from a traffic volume perspective as well.
“It gets considerably worse year after year,” Gillani said. “It’s become a major cut through from the (Hwy.) 40/(Interstate) 44
He pointed out that the danger is not only for vehicles, but for people walking in the area.
“Crossing Old State Road over there, is almost a death trap,” Gillani said. “Those cars come flying over there.”
He suggests the city contribute a 25 to 30% local match to ensure that the grant is awarded.
Some committee members wanted to postpone the vote, but the application deadline is Feb. 11 and since this would be a federally-funded project, the funds would have to be spent within a certain timeframe, Brown said.
The motion to move forward with the application for the roundabout was approved.
Two other projects that were recommended by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and are eligible for federal funding are along Hwy. 100.
One is for the construction of J-Turns at State Route T (St. Albans Road) and Pond Road in lieu of traffic signals. This would eliminate the existing at-grade crossovers at Pond and St. Albans roads; all left turns at these intersections would be required to use the three new median U
The other project would include the construction of new turn lanes at several side roads on State Route 100, including:
- Booness Lane (eastbound and westbound)
- Woodland Meadows Drive (westbound)
- Hencken Road (westbound)
- Hawks Rest Road/Windy Hollow Lane (westbound and eastbound)
The estimated cost for design and construction of the turn lane project is $2.4 million.
Committee members recommended approval for applications on those two projects as well.