TAC prioritizes regional road, bridge, multi-modal projects

Posted 9/15/21

ST. JAMES — Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s (MRPC) Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) on Aug. 12 prioritized the next round of unfunded needs in the region.

Included were …

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TAC prioritizes regional road, bridge, multi-modal projects

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ST. JAMES — Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s (MRPC) Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) on Aug. 12 prioritized the next round of unfunded needs in the region.

Included were the top five Tier Three road and bridge and the top 10 multi-modal projects to assist MoDOT in its planning efforts for future projects.

“Road, bridge and multi-modal projects were prioritized as part of the unfunded Tier 3 planning discussion with MoDOT, should additional funds become available for transportation projects throughout the state,” said Anne Freand, MRPC’s planning manager. “The region’s top five road and bridge projects and top 10 multi-modal projects were then presented to MoDOT’s Central District for consideration at a meeting on Aug. 24.”

Eleven road and bridge projects were submitted to the TAC for prioritization and were narrowed down to five. The top projects in descending order were: 

• Capacity and safety improvements at the Route V interchange on I-44 in Phelps County;

• Bridge replacement over Crooked Creek on Route TT in Dent County;

• New alignment of U.S. 63 south of Osage County Road 524 to Maries County Road 332 in Osage County;

• Convert overpass to interchange for economic development and safety at the junction of Route FF on I-44 in Crawford County; and,

• Add a left turn lane on Highway 19 at Lindburg Road in Crawford County.

Multi-modal projects include rail, trail, sidewalks, airports, public transit and ports. Sixteen multi-modal projects were submitted for prioritization. The top 10 in descending order were:

• Add continuous sidewalk to connect subdivisions to community along Route Y from I-44 to Lemming Lane in Pulaski County;

• Overlay and remark runway at the Rolla Airport in Vichy;

• Improve ADA compliance and pedestrian safety along Highway 19 in Steelville;

• Add shoulders and/or bike lanes to the south outer road along I-44 between exit 189 and St. James;

• Add sidewalk along east side of Highway 19 from Center Street to Route 32 in Salem, Dent County;

• Convert Rock Island Railway into hiking trail from Belle to Owensville;

• Construct hangers and taxi lanes at the Rolla Airport in Vichy;

• Add pedestrian facilities across Pulaski County;

• Construct partial parallel taxiway at the Salem Airport; and,

• Add pedestrian facilities near school in Loose Creek.

These priorities were later approved by the full MRPC board at its meeting that evening and submitted to MoDOT for consideration in its planning work. Additionally, during the meeting:

A new slate of officers was elected for the TAC committee. Those serving as officers now are Darin Pryor of Rolla as chairman, Steve Vogt of Belle as vice chair, and T.R. Dudley of Washington County as secretary; 

The board also heard from MoDOT Central District Engineer Preston Kramer that Gov. Mike Parson had signed the fuel tax into law which goes into effect Oct. 1. The fuel tax raises 2.5 cents every year for five years for a total of 12.5 cents in additional revenue for roads and bridges. Missourians do have the option to keep their receipts and request reimbursement of this additional tax yearly.

The board also received a report from MRPC’s executive director, Bonnie Prigge, on the number of fatalities in the region. The state is seeing an increase in fatalities when compared to 2020. 

As of Aug. 9, there were 571 people who had lost their lives on Missouri roadways, compared to 588 for the same time period in 2020.

And, 26 of those fatalities in 2021 were in the Meramec Region with 10 of those being in Crawford County.

Statewide in 2021, 66 percent of the fatalities were not wearing seatbelts. Prigge has ‘Buckle Up, Phone Down’ signs for anyone who would like to install one on a parking lot. 

Persons needing more information on MRPC’s Transportation Advisory Committee may contact MRPC at (573) 265-2993. The group will meet again at 4 p.m. Oct. 14 at MRPC, 4 Industrial Dr., St. James. Meetings are open to the public.

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