Eight counties | 36 cities | one region

a voluntary council of local governments
serving the missouri meramec area.

TAC prioritizes high-priority, unfunded Tier 3 needs, local system bridge projects for the region 

For immediate release

For more information, contact
Anne Freand or Caitlin Jones

ST. JAMES—The Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s (MRPC) Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), meeting Aug. 11 at MRPC, prioritized the next round of high-priority unfunded Tier 3 needs in the region, including the top 10 road and bridge and the top 15 multi-modal projects to assist MoDOT in its planning efforts for future projects. Additionally, the TAC prioritized projects for the Regional Bridge Program, also known as the BRO program. 

“Road, bridge and multimodal projects were prioritized as part of the unfunded Tier 3 planning discussion with MoDOT. This identifies a pipeline of projects, should additional funds become available for transportation projects throughout the state,” Anne Freand, MRPC Planning Manager said. “The region’s top 10 road and bridge projects and top 15 multimodal projects will then be shared with MoDOT’s Central District for consideration.” 

“Tier 3 High-Priority Unfunded Needs are those needs that would be 10-20 years out from construction, should funding be available and the need still exist,” added Bonnie Prigge, MRPC executive director.

Ten road and bridge projects were submitted to the TAC for prioritization and were narrowed down to 10. The top projects in descending order were: 

1. Capacity and safety improvements at the Hwy. V interchange on I-44 in Phelps County;

2. Bridge Replacement over Crooked Creek on Rt. TT in Dent County;

3. New alignment of US 63 south of Osage CR 524 to Maries CR 332 in Osage County;

4. Convert overpass to interchange for economic development and safety at the junction of Rt. FF on I-44 in Crawford County; 

5. Add a left turn lane on MO 19 at Lindburg Road in Crawford County;

6. New alignment of US 63 south of the Maries River Bridge to south of Osage CR 524 in Osage County;

7. Safety improvements to the intersection of Rt. E and Hwy. 63 in Osage County;

8. New alignment of US 63 south of Maries CR 325 to north of Hwy. 68 in Maries County;

9. New alignment of US 63 north of Hwy. 68 to south of Maries CR 443; and

10. New alignment of US 63 south of Maries CR 443 to Phelps County Super 2.

Multi-modal projects include rail, trail, sidewalks, airports, public transit and ports. Twenty-two multi-modal projects were submitted for prioritization. The top 15 in descending order were:

1. Add continuous sidewalk to connect subdivisions to community along Rt. Y from I-44 to Lemming Lane in Pulaski County;

2. Overlay and remark runway at the Rolla Airport in Vichy;

3. Improve ADA compliance and pedestrian safety along MO 19 in Steelville;

4. Add shoulders and/or bike lanes to the south outer road along I-44 between exit 189 and St. James;

5. Add sidewalk along east side of MO 19 from Center St. to Rt. 32 in Salem, Dent County;

6. Convert Rock Island Railway into hiking trail from Belle to Owensville;

7. Construct hangers and taxi lanes at the Rolla Airport in Vichy;

8. Add pedestrian facilities across Pulaski County;

9. Construct partial parallel taxiway at the Salem Airport; 

10. Add pedestrian facilities near school in Loose Creek;

11. Increase rural transportation in Dent County;

12. Add pedestrian and bicyclist opportunities along Old Route 66 in Crawford County;

13. Add shoulders and or bike path on Rt. B from the Gasconade County line to Rt. 68 in Phelps County;

14. Increased rural transportation in Washington County; and 

15. Increased rural transportation in Maries County. 

Additionally, the TAC, for the first time, ranked Regional Bridge Program projects, previously known as BRO, to be submitted to MoDOT for consideration. All of the bridges submitted for consideration are on the local road system (city or county) and are in poor condition. Previously, counties were allocated funds for BRO bridges, and it usually took three to four years for a county to accumulate enough dollars and the 20 percent match to replace a bridge. Now the money is pooled at the MoDOT district level. MoDOT accepted applications for the top three bridges, by county, with the counties or city making the decision. All submitted applications from Meramec Region cities and counties were reviewed and ranked by the TAC. The top 10 in highest priority order with some ties identified were:

1. Dugout Road over Tributary to Mineral Fork in Washington County;

2. County Road 625 over Swan Creek in Osage County

2. Maries CR 213 over Fly Creek in Maries County;

4. CRD 2110 over Spring Creek in Phelps County;

5. Benton Creek Road over Benton Creek in Crawford County;

6. Little Shoal Creek Road over Shoal Creek in Crawford County;

7. CRD 3620 over Dry Fork Creek in Phelps County;

7. CRD 8410 over Spring Creek in Phelps County;

9. CR 522 over Branch of Maries River in Osage County; and 

9. High Point Road over Brush Creek in Crawford County. 

These priorities were submitted to MoDOT for consideration in its planning work. Executive Director Bonnie Prigge and TAC member Larry Kliethermes, Osage County, will meet with MoDOT and other planning partners later in the month to select bridge projects to be funded. For more information, please contact Anne Freand, MRPC planning department manager, via email at afreand@meramecregion.org or via phone at 573-265-2993 ext. 105.

Additionally, during the meeting:

  • Elected that the current officers would remain for second terms. Those serving as officers now are Darin Pryor of Rolla as chairman, Steve Vogt of Belle as vice chair and T.R. Dudley of Washington County as secretary; 
  • Freand gave an update on the road safety audit that was conducted at the intersection of Hwy. 21 and Delbridge Road in Washington County. Several low-cost improvements were considered, and recommendations were forwarded to MoDOT for consideration;
  • Heard from MoDOT Central District Engineer Preston Kramer about several ongoing projects in the region and the status of their completion; and
  • Heard a report from MRPC Executive Director Bonnie Prigge on the number of fatalities in the region. The state is seeing a slight decrease in fatalities overall when compared to 2021. As of Aug. 28, 630 people had lost their lives on Missouri roadways, compared to 672 for the same time period in 2021. However, the central district is seeing an increase in fatalities with 88 compared to last years 74. 30 of those fatalities in 2022 were in the Meramec Region with Phelps County and Washington County each having 8 fatalities. Statewide in 2022, 60 percent of the fatalities were not wearing seatbelts. Prigge has ‘Buckle Up, Phone Down’ signs for anyone who would like to install one on a parking lot. 

Persons needing more information on MRPC’s Transportation Advisory Committee may contact MRPC at (573) 265-2993. The group will meet again at 4 p.m. Oct. 6 at MRPC, 4 Industrial Dr., St. James. Meetings are open to the public. 

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 34 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

To keep up with the latest MRPC news and events, visit the MRPC website at www.meramecregion.orgor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meramecregion/.