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Jungermann Road bridge repairs set for 2020 completion

Traffic has been reduced to two lanes while construction crews continue the first phase of renovations on the west side of Jungermann Road. [City of St. Peters photo]

Since April 2018, a project has been underway in St. Peters to remove and replace two existing but deficient bridges on Jungermann Road between Margaret Brown Court and Country Creek Drive. While the multi-million dollar project was originally slated for a completion date of late summer 2019, the tentative deadline has been extended to spring 2020 due to the size of the project and the discovery of a communication duct in January 2019.

On Oct. 3, the city of St. Peters announced that construction would soon begin on improvements at the intersection of Country Creek Drive and Jungermann Road. During reconstruction of the intersection, traffic will be limited to two lanes on Country Creek Drive; one lane for entering and one lane for exiting the Country Creek subdivision will be maintained.

One half of the Country Creek Drive intersection will be replaced at a time as part of the Jungermann Bridge replacement project, which replaces two deficient culverts between Country Creek Drive and Margaret Brown Court. The project also includes improvements of an 11-foot wide trail along Jungermann Road and construction of two trail crossings, one at the Country Creek Drive traffic signal and the other under the new bridge to be constructed just north of Country Creek Drive.

Construction of a new bridge structure on Jungermann Road located north of Country Creek Drive remains ongoing. The west side of the bridge, roadway and sidewalk improvements are scheduled to be completed in November 2019. The entire project is slated to be completed in April 2020.

“We’re on pace to meet that goal and have the west side of the roadway completed in November,” Burt Benesek, St. Peters’ manager of transportation and development services, said. “The [second phase] will include improvements to the Country Creek Drive intersection. Also, we’ll have enough pavement in place to allow for a left-turn lane into Country Creek Drive, so that will really help traffic flow during the evening rush.”

In addition to updating and adding amenities to the road, the project also raises the existing road’s elevation to mitigate flooding issues from Spencer Creek and help stormwater sewers drain excess water.

“There’s a little dip in the road just north of Country Creek that will collect water and then, there’s a similar dip near Margaret Brown that does the same thing,” Benesek said. “So the solution was to replace the two culverts to improve their hydraulic capacity, in other words, so they could also pass more water … That was really the genesis of the project.”

Pavement Solutions was brought on as the contractor and HR Green was nominated to serve as the project’s engineer. Construction made consistent progress for almost an entire year before hitting a literal snag in January in the form of a buried AT&T utility duct discovered during the removal of the culvert north of Country Creek Drive. The communications system consisted of nine conduits encased in concrete which contained a mix of fiber optic cables that provide phone and internet service to St. Peters residents.

According to Benesek, the presence of the duct was not the surprise, but rather its location was.

“Part of our design process has been that we partnered closely with utilities that may have assets in the area,” Benesek said. “We showed [AT&T] our plans for them to communicate to us if there was any potential conflict with their facilities.”

AT&T  hired a third-party to use a sonar-type system to verify the depth of the duct.

“Well, as soon as our contractor started work, it appeared that analysis or sonar measurement was incorrect and the duct system was a little higher than what those preliminary tests indicated, so that led to the delay,” Benesek said. “We did coordinate with the utility companies and we did coordinate with AT&T.

“AT&T did their due diligence. Unfortunately, the method to verify the depth of the duct system produced an error.”

The estimated cost of the project remains at its original estimated amount of $2.9 million and the project remains eligible to receive up to $1.346 million in reimbursement funding through the St. Charles County Road Board and East-West Gateway Council of Governments.

The project became eligible for funding after the Missouri Department of Transportation did an inspection of the bridges and found sufficient criteria for replacement.

“Basically, every two years, [MoDOT] inspects the bridges in St. Peters, as they do in other communities … and they do a rating,” Benesek said. “Once a bridge hits a certain level, it’s eligible for replacement. So, we were able to take advantage of federal funding to replace those two box culverts.”

In addition to bridge and roadway improvements, the project also served as a means for St. Peters to upgrade overall pedestrian safety in the area as walkability becomes more sought-after by residents.

“Associated with the bridge improvement at Country Creek are also trail improvements,” Benesek said. “So, bikers, walkers and joggers will now have two ways to cross Jungermann Road. They can do it at the traffic signal at Country Creek like they used to, but we’re also adding a trail that will go underneath Jungermann Road underneath the new bridge, so they won’t have to stop for traffic at that point. They’ll be able to safely get across the roadway and continue walking.”

According to Benesek, all facets of the project are intended to last decades.

“Once these bridges are in place and the new trail and sidewalks are in place, with normal maintenance, I’d say I would expect these to be improvements that would last 30 or 40 years,” Benesek said. “The portion of Jungermann Road was last widened in the mid-1990s. So, this is a very long-term solution.”

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