Underpass to keep Dardenne Prairie’s Hanley Road united at Page Extension
By: Michael R. Smith
It appears Hanley Road in Dardenne Prairie will remain united when the Page Avenue Extension (Route 364) cuts through the city to connect with I-64 (Hwy. 40/61).
County Executive Steve Ehlmann updated the St. Charles County Council at its Nov. 26 meeting on the Route 364 project. He said that conversations between county leaders, Dardenne Prairie officials, and the Missouri Department of Transportation had resulted in a plan to keep Hanley Road open via an underpass beneath the freeway.
Dardenne Prairie leaders, business owners, and residents were concerned that Route 364 might divide Hanley Road— and the city — into two unconnected sections where the forthcoming highway crosses it.
John Greifzu, St. Charles County transportation director, said the concern arose from decades-old maps for the highway corridor. Those concept maps, created when the area was less populated and less developed, showed Hanley Road ending in cul-de-sacs on each side of Route 364.
“There’s been a lot of development in the last 20 years,” Greifzu said. “It was a wise decision to review those plans for the design teams.”
He credits Dardenne Prairie Mayor Pam Fogarty with bringing the issue to the county’s attention. “The mayor had concerns. She talked with the county executive. We came up with a solution.”
Ehlmann said the solution was Greifzu’s idea.
“John came up with the idea that the (county) road board has already approved $2 million for improvements toHanley Road,” said Ehlman. “What he suggested to (Dardenne Prairie Mayor Fogarty) is that they take that $2 million and forego the improvements for the short term and put it into this underpass.”
Ehlmann said that MoDOT officials agreed with the plan and when it was presented to the city “that’s what (Dardenne Prairie) would like to do.”
Dardenne Prairie’s contribution to the highway project comes from the county’s half-cent road tax. When the city got the funds in 2013-14 it had planned to improve Hanley Road between Feise Road and Pleasant Meadow Drive.
Extending Route 364 from Mid Rivers Mall Drive to I-64 is Phase III — the final phase — of a highway construction program that unites Page Avenue in St. Louis County through central St. Charles County to the interstate.
The $100-million project is currently being designed through a design-build process. MoDOT expects to select the construction contractor early next year and to complete construction in late 2014.
Greifzu said the Route 364 project is due to the cooperation of various government entities along its route and unusual throughout the country.
“This is a unique project. It doesn’t happen everywhere,” Greifzu said. “The key to make (Route 364) happen was the partnership between MoDOT, St. Charles County, and the municipalities.
“It’s an example of the great things we can do to provide the best things for the residents of St. Charles County,” Greifzu said.