Authorities indicate the stretch of roadway on Missouri Route 109 between Missouri Route 100 and Clayton Road historically has the most number of crashes annually within . A proposed, major highway construction project was designed to improve the safety and flow of traffic there, but many Wildwood residents questioned whether a recommended two-lane roundabout was the right way to go at Wednesday evening's open house about the project hosted from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
"The accident rate on this stretch is about twice that of other similar roads in Missouri, and twice what we like to see," said Missouri Department of Transportation area engineer Michelle Voegele, at the open house.
Approximately 20,000 vehicles travel through this road daily, according to transportation studies.
Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and Wildwood officials partnered to fund the joint project that will:
- Widen Missouri Route 109 to four lanes (two in each direction) from Route 100 to Clayton Road
- Create a raised center median island
- Establish a modified two-lane roundabout at the intersection of Route 109 and Pond-Grover Loop Road
- Include a western extension to Pond-Grover Loop Road
- Install two pedestrian tunnels to improve the safety of pedestrians and tie into the existing and future trail system for this area.
The last open house was held in Wildwood during December to introduce the conceptual project plans and get reactions from citizens. That exchange and some engineering analyses resulted in the following updates to the plans:
- The intersection of Eatherton Road and Route 109 has been relocated to the south to provide some separation from the new roundabout at Pond-Grover Loop Road.
- A second roundabout was added at the intersection of Route 109 and the westbound on/off ramps at the north side of the bridge over Route 100. MoDOT engineers believe this will help transition the traffic flow better at the south end of the project, and provide a safer alternative for traffic currently turning left out of Windsor Crest Subdivision.
- The entrance to a new six-lot residential subdivision, Lafayette Crossing, across from , has been incorporated into the plans.
- More detail of the planned stormwater retention pond at the southwest corner of Route 109 and Pond-Grover Loop Road was incorporated into the plans.
- The necessary right-of-way and easements for the project have been shown.
Many subdivision residents will no longer be able to turn left from their subdivision's entrance onto Route 109 when the project is completed. These turns will be replaced by right turns accessible through new roundabouts.
MoDOT engineers indicate more areas than contained in this plan may need to be addressed to truly limit the impacts of congestion along this stretch of Route 109, however those projects could only be done when and if funding becomes available.
Schedule for Widening of Missouri Route 109 Project, per MoDOT:Design completed January 2013 Contractor awarded April 2013 Construction to begin June 2013 Construction completed Summer 2014