Route 364, colloquially known as the Page Avenue Extension, is finally complete.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the final portion of the three-phase project on Oct. 31, with all ramps to be opened by Thanksgiving.
The $118 million dollar project was billed by the Missouri Department of Transportation as an alternate travel route for St. Charles County residents and visitors, who traditionally have used interstates 70 and 64, and as a connection between St. Louis and St. Charles counties via a central corridor.
For business owners, the extension is expected to be a game-changer.
Carrie Keipp, owner of St. Charles business Design on a Dime, said the Page Extension will make it easier for far west residents customers to travel through St. Charles and shop – without making it an all-day affair.
“It can be a quick little jump,” Keipp said. “Hopefully it will be a positive thing. It will bring them (shoppers from far western St. Charles County) our way and us their way as well. We just need to make them aware that we’re out here.”
Looking eastward, Keipp said she has advertised her business in the Maryland Heights area with good results since that portion of the extension opened.
“It’s really quick for them to get over here,” Keipp said. “So I’m hoping that we’ll get the same response if we start advertising in the Lake Saint Louis area, Wentzville area, because those are areas we’ve never hit before.”
Like Keipp, Barb and Don Baker, owners of Donatelli’s Bistro, said they expect good things to come from the completion of the Page Extension.
“Hallelujah,” was Don’s first reaction to questions about the Page Extension opening. He said the role the Page Extension plays in decreased travel time provides local businesses with a huge advantage.
Both he and Barb said they feel the project will provide a substantial boost to their restaurant business.
“You’re talking from 10 to 20 or 25,” Don said, referring to the number of customers the new roadway could bring in. “I’ve been waiting for this day.”
“It’s definitely going to help, absolutely,” Barb said.
Barb added that she has already noticed an increase in traffic flow with the completion of the project.
St. Charles County resident Jeanne Ritter said that for the most part the Page Extension just makes moving around St. Charles County easier, but she did have one complaint. She said the one downside to the Page Extension is the way its exit and entrance ramps are bunched together. From where she lives, she said that she needs to drive several miles to find a point to get on Route 364.
“There’s a lot of people around here that have complained about that,” Ritter said.
That said, the new road has proved useful.
“My daughter’s orthodontist is at (highways) K and N, and the same guy has an office in Chesterfield. We’re right in the middle of both, so I could always make an appointment either way,” Ritter said. “Before 364 was complete, it didn’t matter which location I went to. But now I definitely would do the K and N one, because it’s so much closer and faster.”
Route 364 begins as Page Avenue on the St. Louis County side, becoming the Page Extension west of Interstate 270. It continues westward, joining for a time with the recently improved Hwy. 94 before Hwy. 94 splits off near Mid Rivers Mall Drive; Route 364 continues west to I-64, just past Hwy. N.