East-West, St. Louis region $2 billion transportation plan unveiled

By Bob Pieper For Chronicle Media

The East-West Gateway Council of Governments is developing its new four-year plan covering 2018-21 for transportation improvements for the region above.
(Image courtesy of East-West Gateway Council of Governments)

The East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGCG) is seeking public comment on its draft Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and its Air Quality Conformity Determination and Documentation documents for fiscal years 2018-21.  The public comment period is from June 30 through Aug.  3.

The TIP provides a listing of transportation projects — mostly roadway maintenance or upgrading — funded by the federal government and proposed for implementation over the next four years. The accompanying documents, required by federal law, outline who the projects would affect air quality in Metro East by, for example, increasing or decreasing traffic.

Representing the short-range component of the council’s Connected 2045 Long-Range Transportation Plan for the St. Louis Region, the draft four-year plan proposes 716 projects with a total cost of $2.17 billion.

“Consistent with the goals of the long-range plan, this TIP continues the region’s emphasis on preserving the existing infrastructure, committing 51.3 percent of the total program ($1.11 billion over the next four years) to resurface and reconstruct roads, repair/replace bridges, and replace other aging transportation systems and facilities,” the introduction to the draft plan notes.

The proposed transportation plan includes a total of $338,794,350 in transportation funding on the Metro East side of the Greater St. Louis area, plus another $386,286,834 for multi-state projects such as bridge improvements on the Mississippi River.

Over the next four years:

— Jersey County would receive $1,123,435; all for operational and safety functions,

— Madison County would receive $113,586,862; with the bulk going to preservation of existing roadways ($63,933,766) and mass transit operations ($40,687,236),

— Monroe County would receive $7,353,810; with the lion’s share ($5,516,510) allocated to road preservation, and

— St. Clair County would get $249,852,470; with the overwhelming majority ($170,433,810) dedicated to preservation of infrastructure.

In addition, the plan would provide the Illinois Department of Transportation $28,278,670 for multi-county projects and $72,780,600 for regional programs — most operations and preservation — in Metro East.

While placing emphasis on maintenance of existing infrastructure, the draft transportation plan would provide funding for three new road construction projects at Metro-East locations; all in St. Clair County:

Cahokia — Reconstruction of Cargill Rd from IL 3/157 to the Mississippi River;

Dupo —  A new interchange on I-255 at Davis Street Ferry Road, and

O’Fallon — Extension of the Frank Scott Parkway from Cross St. to IL 158.

The Bi-State Development Agency, which provides mass transit services in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Clair County would receive a total of $531.1 million for improvement projects.

The Madison County Transit District would receive $38.8 million — plus additional funding under a regional program to establish a Ridefinders program. Local transportation programs around the region would receive a total of $6.8 million.

A finalized version of the plan is to be submitted to the EWGCG Board of Directors at its August 30 meeting. The plan is to become effective Oct. 1, pending board, state, and federal approvals.

Public comments on the draft transportation plan will accepted through a series of open house meetings and live online chats, as well as by mail and by e-mail through the EWGCG website. The comment period ends Thursday, Aug. 3. All comments must be received or postmarked by that date.

The first of the open house meetings was set for Monday, July 10, at the Caseyville Community Center, 909 S. Main St., Caseyville. Additional open houses will be held over the next ten days in Hillsboro, Mo, Pacific, Mo., Maryland Heights, Mo. and O’Fallon, Mo.

An online chat on the plan will be offered Tuesday, July 18, noon to 1 p.m. at www.ewgateway.org.

Interested parties can view the complete transportation program and file comment by email on the EWGCG transportation plan webpage (www.ewgateway.org/TIPOpenHouseInfo2017/tipopenhouseinfo2017.htm).




– — East-West St. Louis region $2 billion transportation plan unveiled —