Travel is improving in St. Charles County as Interstate 70 traffic flow improvements continue in O’Fallon.
Costs are being covered by a combination of funds from the federal government, the Missouri Department of Transportation [MoDOT], the St. Charles County Road Board and the city of O’Fallon.
On Feb. 28, O’Fallon Communications Director Tom Drabelle provided an update about the major project. Summarizing the progress to-date, he said: “Phase one included establishing one-way outer roads between T.R Hughes Boulevard and Hwy. K/Main Street. The enhanced one-way north outer road, known as East Terra [Drive] was competed in spring 2019. A new one-way south outer road constructed between Hwy. K/Main Street and T.R. Hughes Boulevard was opened to traffic on Sunday, April 21, 2019.”
He added that the new south outer road “has been named Drennen Parkway, after revered, 36-year municipal judge Earl Drennen.”
“Those new one-way north and south outer roads and their redesigned entrance and exit ramps to and from I-70 now move traffic farther away from the Hwy. K/Main Street interchange,” Drabelle explained. “That avoids motorists having to do as many stops and starts as they used to do, so traffic moves more smoothly.”
Another new road was built just west of Slumberland Furniture, connecting the new Drennen Parkway South to Veterans Memorial Parkway, resulting in new traffic flow options and greater access to commercially-zoned land. That new connector road has been named Brunjes Avenue after Charles Brunjes, a well-respected, long-time O’Fallon resident who has been a key player in helping the city grow from a small, rural town into the city it is today.
Drabelle verified that additional lanes will be added to Hwy. K under the bridge as part of the continuing improvements. “Texas U-Turn” lanes also will be added to enable movement to and from the one-way outer roads without needing to get on Hwy. K or I-70.
The U-turn lane on the eastbound side of Hwy. K already is under construction and will open later in 2020. U-turn lane preparation work has begun on the westbound side, but the timing will be more in line with the second phase of the project.
“Phase two design and right-of-way acquisition will begin in March, because funding was approved by the City Council Feb. 27,” Drabelle said. “Construction work will be in late 2020 or early 2021.”
Phase two will extend the north and south one-way outer roads to the Woodlawn Avenue overpass and will include a “Texas U-Turn” lane on the east side of Woodlawn. There will not be any U-turn lanes at the T.R. Hughes interchange.