City of Hazelwood Aims to Complete Missouri Bottom Road Project in 2012
The new road will be wider and feature a sidewalk for pedestrians.
You may be wondering why those orange barricades are up, just how long they will be blocking the closed road, and when you’ll be able to resume traveling on the road once again. David Stewart, Hazelwood’s public works director and city engineer, spoke with Hazelwood Patch about the project.
Stewart explained that the road's slope stability had been compromised, mainly due to poor soil conditions and run-off rain water, causing the roadway to become unsafe. Because of the instability of the side of the hill which supports the road, the road itself has actually shifted.
According to Stewart, geotechnical and engineering firms examined and analyzed the road and deemed it “unsafe for the public,” and consequently it was closed about a year ago. Initially, the road barriers which were put up did not keep determined drivers away.
“Our road blocks were moved several times, so we had to upgrade to concrete barriers,” he said.
The Hazelwood Police Department told Patch that motorists who ignore the barriers would have to deal with fines and/or citations, although the amount and severity would depend upon the specific situation. But at this point, anyone willing to risk passing the barriers would have an unpleasant encounter with an 18-inch drop in the road due to the shift. That's enough to swallow most of your front tires.
Fixing the road will be complex. The $2 million project, predicted to begin at the earliest this fall and completed sometime in 2012, will mean removing the current road, completely re-grading the slope to stabilize it, and finally laying a foundation and a new road.
Stewart says the new Missouri Bottom Road will not only be safer, but also feature some new improvements. The road will be wider than it is now, for instance.
“Missouri Bottom Road will have a much more open feel to it, and a cleaner look,” Stewart said.
In addition, pedestrians will be happy to know that a sidewalk will run the full length of Missouri Bottom Road once the project is complete. There was not previously a sidewalk towards the end near West Middle School.
The middle school sits just above the road, and was accessible via Missouri Bottom when the road was open, but the closure has caused school bus routes to be changed, in addition to routes various parents took to drop their children off.
“Although we understand the inconvenience the road closure has caused regarding access to our school, we are looking forward to the benefits of having a reconstructed roadway," said WMS Principal Allison Klouse said. "We will continue to cooperate with city officials as they work to complete the reconstruction.”
Bidding for the project is still being finalized, according to Stewart. The city has received federal funding for approximately $600,000, and will foot the rest of the bill itself.