St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) District Engineer Ed Hassinger, along with federal, state and local elected officials, broke ground on the final section of the Route 364 Page Avenue Extension on Wednesday, May 22. The ceremony took place at 10 a.m. at the I-64 and Route N interchange in Lake Saint Louis. The site marks the location where the final nine miles of Route 364 will end at I-64.
Hassinger welcomed and thanked attendees and Ehlmann recognized all the groups that made Phase 3 a reality. Remarks were also made by Missouri Highway Transportation Committee Commissioner Grace Nichols, Gary Turner of the Missouri River Bridges Committee, State Representative Chuck Gatschenberger, Mayor of Weldon Spring Don Licklider, Mayor of Cottleville Jim Hennessey, Mayor of O’Fallon Bill Hennessy, Mayor of Dardenne Prairie Pam Fogarty, and Mayor of Lake St. Louis Ralph Sidebottom.
The $118.2 million roadway project includes construction of a four-lane divided highway from Mid Rivers Mall Drive to the I-64 and Route N in St. Charles County and is expected to be completed by November 2014. The County and its municipalities teamed together to fund $57 million of the project, with MoDOT funding $61.2 million.
St. Charles County’s ½ cent Transportation Sales Tax, reauthorized by a 77% vote in August 2012, provides $29,150,000 for the project. O’Fallon contributed $2.25 million to help with additional right-of-way costs, and Dardenne Prairie added $600,000 for improvements at Hanley Road. The County and its municipalities partnered with MoDOT to secure the federal grant funds necessary to complete the project.
“The real important thing that happened here is that the cities got together with the County – everybody put their projects on the back burner for a year or so – and went to East-West Gateway and asked for all the money to be put into this project,” said Ehlmann. “That was the last part of the puzzle but that’s the part I think is most important, and that could not be achieved without leadership from mayors and various councils in the cities of St. Charles County.”
When completed, Phase 3 will provide congestion relief for the residents of the central part of St. Charles County, make travel between St. Charles and Lake Saint Louis easier, and provide another route into St. Louis County. Phase 3 is also anticipated to improve the operation of I-64 and I-70 by reducing traffic and handling up to 50,000 cars per day.
In February, the design-build project was awarded to Page Constructors, a joint venture with Fred Weber Inc., Millstone Bangert Inc., and Kolb Grading, with Parsons Transportation serving as the lead designer. Construction work began this month.
“They came back with a great project,” said Ehlmann. “An added benefit is that the jobs out here will go to people in this region and the money will stay here. I couldn’t be happier.”