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Lake Saint Louis funds study examining roundabout at I-70 interchange

Lake Saint Louis has hired a consultant to examine options for improving the Interstate 70/Lake Saint Louis Boulevard interchange that may include a roundabout.

The city’s Board of Aldermen approved a contract at their March 7 meeting with Oates Associates, an engineering consultant, to conduct a study of a possible roundabout or other improvements to the existing I-70/Lake Saint Louis Boulevard interchange. City officials want to improve traffic flow at the interchange involving Lake Saint Louis Boulevard, Veterans Memorial Parkway and the I-70 eastbound ramps.

City Administrator Paul Markworth said city officials hope to have the study results back by August. But any decision on improvements to the interchange and how they would be paid for may be some time off.

The study will explore whether the interchange’s off-ramps and the Lake Saint Louis Boulevard/Veterans Memorial Parkway interchange could be reconfigured as a kind of a circular or figure-eight-shaped roundabout. Like spokes of a wheel, separate lanes from the circular or figure-eight road would lead to the boulevard, ramps, and parkway, as well as across the interchange.

If the city should move ahead with any improvements, it will have to find the money to pay for them. That may include putting up some city funding, as well as seeing if money is available from the St. Charles County Road Board and the Missouri Department of Transportation [MoDOT].

The Road Board is a citizen-member board appointed by the county executive to review applications for local transportation sales tax funding. County voters approved a half-cent transportation sales tax to provide additional transportation funding. Road Board recommendations are reviewed by the county executive and County Council.

The Road Board has approved providing $38,000 of the $44,000 needed for the study, Markworth said.

MoDOT has been a major source of funding for highway and interstate road improvements, but the agency currently has limited money available and has cut back on major transportation projects.

Lake Saint Louis officials want to find a way to improve an already traffic-clogged South Outer Road of the I-70 interchange, which is expected to get even more congested in years to come.

Last May, the board approved a resolution applying for funding from the Road Board for the study. City officials say the on- and off-ramps from I-70 are very close to Veterans Memorial Parkway, which causes backups. Businesses also line Lake Saint Louis Boulevard, which extends southeast into the city. SSM St. Joseph Hospital West, a bank and other businesses line the parkway west of the interchange.

The interchange is expected to get more crowded with the expansion of the hospital, which is underway.

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