For immediate release
TAC prioritizes TAP applications, unfunded needs for region
ST. JAMES—The Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s (MRPC) Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) prioritized five Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) applications and the top three unfunded needs in the region along Highways 63 and 50 at its Feb. 9 meeting.
The Meramec Region had five TAP applications submitted to add or replace sidewalks. The TAC heard about each project from representatives in the city. The projects prioritized from highest to lowest are:
- Salem: Replacing sidewalks and fixing grade issues along 4th Street,
- Rolla: Continuing sidewalks along Route E,
- St. Robert: Adding sidewalks to connect two neighborhoods to a shopping area along Marshall and Bosa Drive,
- St. Robert: Replacing sidewalks and connecting existing sidewalks along Eastlawn Avenue in, and
- Waynesville: Connecting existing sidewalks along Hwy. 17 and Rte. 66.
The TAC’s recommendations were approved by MRPC’s board and will be shared with MoDOT Central District, where there will be a total of 11 projects competing for funding.
After ranking the TAP applications, the TAC then worked on identifying the top three unfunded needs in the region along Highways 63 and 50 for MoDOT if funding were to become available. The TAC was asked to consider small projects, should $500 million more dollars be available with a five-year timeframe and larger projects, if $2.0 billion were available, with a 10-year timeframe. Because the TAC and MRPC have prioritized improvements on Highways 63 and 50 as the region’s top need, TAC members then considered projects on Highway 63 on existing alignment and on new alignment along with the top priority on Highway 50. The projects, also approved by the MRPC board, were as follows from highest to lowest priority:
- Spot Improvements on Highway 63 Existing Alignment: (1) Build a northbound passing lane north of Freeburg starting at Route JJ and extending for 1.7 miles and (2) build a southbound passing lane south of Freeburg starting approximately at the city limits and extending for 2.2 miles;
- Highway 50 Project: Improve the intersection at Rte. CC and Osage County Road 801 to fix congestion and access management issues and include a new State Technical College entrance to the east that reroutes school traffic; and
- New Alignment Projects on Highway 63: (1) Construct new roadway from south of Osage County Road 524 to south of Maries County Road 332 about 9 miles and (2) construct new roadway south of Maries County Road 332 to south of Maries County Road 325 about 5.5 miles.
MoDOT will do some basic cost projections, based on these priorities, host a discussion with Central District partners and then make a final determination on what is included in the unfunded needs report.
Additionally, during the meeting:
- Assistant State Design Engineer Julie Stotlemeyer with MoDOT updated TAC members on the Off-System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation (BRO) program; and
- Heard a report from MRPC Executive Director Bonnie Prigge on the number of fatalities in the region. As of March 3, there have been seven fatalities in the Meramec Region.
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. April 8 at MRPC, 4 Industrial Dr., St. James. Meetings are open to the public. George Lauritson, mayor of St. Robert chairs the TAC.
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. Gasconade County Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel serves as chairman of the board. 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.