“We’re getting different comments and concerns from residents asking about all the litter that is on Highway 70 inside St. Peters’ boundaries,” said St. Peters Mayor Len Pagano at the city’s Board of Aldermen meeting on March 10.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is responsible for maintenance along the interstate right-of-way and service roads.
“So many people really believe that this is the city of St. Peters’ responsibility to clean this up, [but] it’s really the highway department [MoDOT],” Pagano added.
Pagano told the aldermen that litter can be seen on both sides of the interstate and along the north and south service roads, particularly from the I- 70/Highway 79 interchange east to Cave Springs. Some of the worst spots are from the Interstate 70/Mid-Rivers Mall Drive interchange to Cave Springs, he said.
Although groups and companies have sponsored cleanups along the interstate, it may be too much for them to handle, Pagano said.
“It’s almost like dump trucks coming to dump their trash,” he said.
City officials and aldermen would not accept trash and high grass or anything that unsightly, Pagano said, noting that state and MoDOT officials routinely travel I- 70. “Somebody there must take responsibility for this,” he said.
Pagano later said he had not discussed the issue with state officials. MoDOT officials said on March 11 that the situation is expected to improve as the mowing season begins and as the grass grows along the right-of-way.
Jessica Hochlan, a spokesperson for MoDOT’s St Louis regional office, said that maintenance and litter removal will pick up with the end of cold weather and the coming of spring.