Highway FF Safety Improvements Move To Funded List from Draft List
Eureka area residents are celebrating Tuesday afternoon, after good news about the funding of desired Highway FF changes as well as a new Route 47 Missouri River Bridge. Highway FF was deemed one of the state's most dangerous roadways.
Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission members met Tuesday morning in Washington's City Hall located at 405 Jefferson St. Two projects that now will be funded will impact Eureka and Wildwood travelers.
One of the items on the agenda was the recommendation of the new State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), which includes construction of a new Route 47 Missouri River Bridge by 2017. This bridge connects Franklin and Warren Counties.
The Route 47 Missouri River Bridge needs to be replaced because of its deteriorating condition as it is a vital link for the community, said Missouri Department of Transportation officials.
Washington city representatives presented commissioners with a wheelbarrow containing approximately $1,400 worth of pennies that were collected by area school children as a show of community support for the Route 47 Missouri River Bridge project. The new bridge is estimated to cost approximately $62 million.
Safety Improvements for Highway FF, Near Eureka, Received Funding
One Curve At A Time founder Shawn Archambault, who attended today's meeting, said, "I was overwhelmed. It's part of a peace that everyone can feel to move forward. It has been a long journey for me, although a short time, to get this accomplished. God is so great."
Archambault's daughter, Kaela, died on Nov. 18, 2010, in a traffic accident on Highway FF—a highway that was noted by MoDOT officials as having at least 25 percent more than the statewide average of crashes for two-lane roads.
"There were so many committed people who helped with this cause, including the Missouri Department of Transportation—Judy Wagner, Dave Nichols, Kevin Keith and Ed Hassinger—who encouraged us to move forward, to make people aware of the hazards of driving too fast, to encourage increased highway enforcement, and to lobby for safety improvements," said Archambault.
"Thank you to all those who rallied to the cause, who did this in honor and in memory of my daughter Kaela, and for others. I will tell her I honored her the day she died, and I honor her every day of my life. This is so uplifting."
Stephanie Stemmler, Eureka resident and community advocate for Highway FF changes said, "Shawn has been the driving force of One Curve at a Time in trying to draw attention to the hazards of Highway FF. In memory of my friend, Karen Turnbo, and for Kaela Archambault and others who have lost their lives or were injured on Highway FF, I am filled with heart-felt peace that something positive is rising out of grief."
See one of many previous articles: Tribute to Two Lost in Auto Fatalities
Editor's Note: Patch will update this article after confirmation from Missouri Department of Transportation officials regarding the expected timeframe of the new funding list for future projects.