Wentzville, Foristell resolutions extend Veterans Memorial Parkway through county
Leaders in Wentzville and Foristell passed separate resolutions in recent meetings to extend Veterans Memorial Parkway through their cities. If the measure gains final approval in both municipalities the parkway would go from Fifth Street in St. Charles to Warrenton in Warren County.
It would also finish a project begun in 1997 by LakeSaint Louis resident Ralph Barrale.
Next, public meetings would determine whether there are objections from the residents, businesses, or other involved parties in Wentzville and Foristell.
Barrale served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He is now a civic leader and officer in a local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter. Considering St. Charles County lacked memorials honoring those who served in America’s armed forces he persuaded city after city to rename the I-70 South Service Road to Veterans Memorial Parkway.
Since 1997 he has met with cities to persuade them to make the change. Warrenton and Wright City in Warren County also adopted the name through their cities.
“I’m glad about it,” Barrale said about the project’s possible end. “It’s really nice that it’s complete from Fifth Street into Warren County. It’s a great honor for the veterans.”
He said several years ago he asked Foristell and Wentzville leaders to make the name change, but other activities then delayed his pursuing the project. A conversation late last year with Wentzville Alderman Cheryl Kross (Ward 1) got it moving again.
Barrale reminded Kross at an event that the city had not made the name change.
“She was shocked,” he said. “She picked it from there and brought it up to the (Wenztville) board.”
Kross told aldermen at their Jan. 23 meeting that city staff learned that local emergency workers supported the change. “They said it would tremendously help response and straighten up the addresses.”
Several streets in both cities would be affected, including I-70 Industrial Drive, South Service Road, Wentzville Center, and Wentzville Marketplace.
Wentzville Community Development Director Doug Forbeck said the change would cost the city about $900 for “advertisements and street signs and things of that nature.”
Barrale said he was told by Alderman Kross that barring opposition “they were looking at March to having a dedication” of the road extension.
Besides working to complete Veterans Memorial Parkway, Barrale was also involved in helping name the Veterans Memorial Bridge that connects St. Louis and St. Charles counties via Route 364 (Page Avenue Extension). He also worked with Lake Saint Louis to create their Veterans Memorial Park.
His current project is to put a military museum in St. Charles County because the only one in the area, he said, is Soldier’s Memorial Military Museum in downtown St. Louis.
The museum is moving slowly because he’s seeking donated property. In this economy “it’s pretty hard to get someone to donate some ground,” Barrale said. “I’m still hoping that will happen.”