The safety of our transportation infrastructure is a priority for myself, the County Council, and County Government as a whole. I am happy to share great news and updates about two important transportation projects in my district - safety improvements to U.S. 61 and Route P/Peine Road and progress on the Deer Creek Extension.
Safety improvements to U.S. 61 and Route P/Peine Road will start in late 2016 as scheduled. I recently received numerous communications from constituents who were concerned after hearing that the project was on hold. This is not the case. In a nutshell, there were discussions between the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and the City of Wentzville about a change to the approved design that they felt would be an improvement for citizens. County officials communicated to MoDOT and the City of Wentzville that changing the project at this stage would require it to be re-submitted for funding approval, so both parties agreed to stay with the original design to not delay the project. These were swift discussions all around because all parties had the best interests of the public in mind, and was a great example of cooperation.
The design, a conventional diamond interchange, will serve the needs of the citizens well and dramatically improve safety. These improvements are of major importance as there have been a number of fatal and serious accidents over a short period of time in this area, and I know citizens have been anxiously waiting for construction to begin on this project. In the meantime, MoDOT, the County, and the City of Wentzville have implemented temporary safety measures, including a travel safe zone which results in double fines for speeding. Since implementing this zone a few years ago, there has been a reduction in serious accidents.
The Deer Creek Extension is another essential project to improve public safety. The project extends existing Deer Creek Drive to the south over Peruque Creek and connects to Elaine Drive. Work began by the St. Charles County Highway Department the first week of March, and the project is expected to be completed by April 30, 2016. I know there are concerns that this improvement will bring more through traffic to the Manors of Deer Creek and Walden Pond subdivisions. However, due to more development in the area and flash flooding of Peruque Creek, which floods Hoff Road and a section of Route P, this improvement is a necessity for our first responders. In the event of a flood, our police, fire, and EMS crews have to go out of their way and take extra time to get to the scene of a call in the area – this extension will help solve this issue by providing a route for them to reach people in need more efficiently and save lives.
Road improvements take lots of effort and time, and I would like to extend a big THANK YOU to the citizens in these areas for their patience and cooperation. I would also like to thank County Executive Steve Ehlmann; Assistant Director of Administration Don Boehmer; Director of Transportation John Greifzu; County Engineer Craig Tajkowski and the St. Charles County Highway Department; the City of Wentzville; the City of O’Fallon; and MoDOT for bringing these projects to fruition.