Opening day: Ribbon cutting opens new section of Route 364
By: Amy Armour
The second phase of the Route 364 Page Avenue Extension opened to traffic at 4 p.m, Aug. 30. The new stretch of road from Harvester Road to Mid Rivers Mall Drive opened two months ahead of schedule and $1 million under budget.
Linda Wilson Horn, community relations coordinator with MoDOT, credits great weather and a cooperative relationship with contractor Fred Weber Inc. for the earlier than anticipated opening.
“By having the same contractor (Fred Weber) on the projects, we were able to better coordinate the schedule and pick up some time in the way they built the new roadway,” said Wilson Horn.
Officials from MoDOT,St. Peters and St. Charles County celebrated with a ribbon cutting at 9:30 a.m., Aug. 30.
“This is a great day. I didn’t bring a proclamation with me today, but I can I just proclaim this MoDOT appreciation day,” said St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Elhmann, along with other officials, emphasized the team effort it took to complete the second phase of Route 364 with many different levels of government working together on the road project.
“The engineering and the construction is the easy part,” said Ed Hassinger, MoDOT St. Louis District Engineer. The public support and the funding is the difficult part. The groups that have worked together have been “phenomenal,” he said.
The $101 million project – of that $75 million for construction – was funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, federal and state transportation funds and St. Charles County Transportation Sales Tax funds. In addition, the city of St. Peters contributed more than $2 million and relinquished right-of-way to MoDOT for a large portion of the outer roads.
“This shows what you can achieve when all of those levels of government are on the same page,” Ehlmann said.
“This is a proud day for our community… I’m proud to say the city of St. Peters played a role in this progress,” said St. Peters Mayor Len Pagano at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The progress may start with a few temporary speed bumps. Wilson Horn said drivers can expect to see extra congestion during rush hour at the Mid Rivers Mall Drive interchange and at the signal at Westwood as these will be the first signalized intersections drivers will come to.
“Our traffic engineers will be monitoring these signals and all the signalized intersections along the outer roads between Harvester and Mid Rivers to make adjustments over the next couple of months,” said Wilson Horn.
The final phase of the Route 364 Page Extension will extend from Mid Rivers Mall Drive running parallel to Hwy. N to the Hwy. N and I-64 interchange. This section will be done using the Design-Build procurement method with one contractor team hired to develop the design and construct the road. This $100 million project includes federal and state transportation funds, St. Charles County road tax funds and local federal transportation funds for many of the county municipalities. The Phase 3 Route 364 project will be awarded to a contractor in spring 2013 and will be complete by the end of 2014.
“This project is a great example of cooperation with the local partners to work together with funding options to build a great project for the public. With the decreasing amounts of transportation funds, this collaboration with our local partners is critically important. Now the citizens of St. Charles County can enjoy six more miles of improved roadway,” said Hassinger.