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Funding for Hanley Road improvements unavailable until next fall

Reconstruction of and improvements to Hanley Road north of its intersection with Feise Road in Dardenne Prairie appear likely but work won’t start soon.

The city’s Board of Aldermen approved funding agreements in October and November with St. Charles County and the Missouri Department of Transportation [MoDOT] that will provide about 90 percent of the funding for a project that is expected to cost $1,876,100.

The project will involve replacing two existing 10.5-foot wide road lanes with two new 11-foot wide lanes along about 2,300 feet of Hanley Road. Sidewalk improvements, turn lanes, storm sewer improvements and possibly on-street bike lanes also have been discussed for the project.

For years, Dardenne Prairie officials have discussed improving this portion of Hanley Road, which runs north and south along a route that includes Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and city hall.  The area is considered to be the city’s downtown and a major component of the city’s Uptown Zoning District plan to provide a city core and paths for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The road also became an issue in 2012 when discussions with MoDOT officials indicated that Hanley Road — a major thoroughfare in the city – could end in a cul-de-sac south of Hwy. 364, which was then being planned.

Eventually, MoDOT, city and county officials agreed to keep Hanley a through street by extending a Hwy. 364 overpass. Funds for Hanley Road improvements were put into the overpass and no interchange or a roundabout at Highway 364 and Hanley became a reality.

Improving Hanley north of Feise is the next phase of work along the roadway. There was elected official turnover and new aldermen and the new mayor were not enthusiastic about the Uptown Zoning District, which has not drawn much new development. It may be going away as part of a revision of the overall comprehensive plan but city officials still want to improve Hanley Road and provide better pedestrian access.

The East-West Gateway Council of Governments, a clearinghouse for federal funding in the St. Louis area, approved $750,440 for the project in August, which is about 40 percent of its cost. The remaining 60 percent of the cost will be picked up by the St. Charles County Road Board and the city.

The Road Board makes recommendations to use the county’s half-cent transportation sales tax. County funding is expected to amount to about $938,050, or 50 percent of the project cost. The city will be responsible for $187,610 of the project cost. The federal money and Road Board funds will reimburse the city for the work.

Dardenne Prairie Mayor David Zucker said that the actual construction work won’t begin soon. Funding will not be available until Oct. 1, 2017 with preliminary engineering and planning starting in 2018, he said. Actual construction may not start until 2020.

Zucker said a Hanley connection with Highway 364 is not likely.  “As much as we’d like to see more access off (Highway) 364 that doesn’t appear in the cards,” Zucker said.

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