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Hwy. DD improvements could require eminent domain

O’Fallon has proposed a road improvement project for Hwy. DD to accommodate increased traffic from the new Streets of Caledonia mixed-use development. The project will require easements of various types from property owners in the area of construction. 

The Caledonia developer, Payne Family Homes, already has either platted all of the rights-of-way and easements or agreed to provide additional rights-of-way and easements as the community’s design reveals areas where additional rights-of-way and easements are needed.  However, in the event that negotiations with property owners are not successful, O’Fallon might need to use condemnation and eminent domain for some of the easements.

Hwy. DD road improvement project map (Source: City of O’Fallon)

The Hwy. DD project has cost-sharing with MoDOT, grant funds from the St. Charles County Road Board and Payne Family Homes. The project will provide increased capacity and a new road network for future residential and commercial developments in the area of Streets of Caledonia.

Route DD is a mostly narrow road with one lane for travel in each direction from I-64 in O’Fallon to Hwy. 94 near Defiance, a total of about 9.5 miles. Its length includes a movie theater, soccer park and the future Streets of Caledonia at its north/east end. At its south/west end is a quarry for stone, aggregate and concrete. In between are numerous large subdivisions, landscape nurseries, horse stables, Discovery Ridge Elementary School [1,000-plus students], Frontier Middle School [1,100-plus students], O’Fallon’s O’Day Park and St. Charles County’s Broemmelsiek Park. All were built well after the road was designed as a farm-to-market road or minor branch route.

As recently as this spring, residents along Hwy. DD near its northeast terminus were expressing concern about increased traffic caused by Streets of Caledonia, the Wyndgate subdivision (about two miles south of I-64 off of Diehr Road) and other residential developments proposed for the area. Some went as far as to label the roadway as “deadly.”

Streets of Caledonia site map; Hwy. DD curves through the development at the far right. (Source: Payne Family Homes)

The proposed project to improve and widen Hwy. DD – from Mastercard Boulevard east of I-64 to a point northeast (0.2 miles) of Castlewood Estates Drive – would seek to alleviate some of the anticipated traffic and related concerns.

Bill No. 7239, sponsored by O’Fallon City Council members Dale Kling and Nathan Bibb, both of Ward 3, would approve the general plans for the Hwy. DD road improvement project and authorize the use of eminent domain when necessary to acquire rights-of-way in the public interest. 

At its Sept. 10 meeting, the council gave the bill a first reading.  If normal process is followed, second reading and vote for passage will be at the Sept. 24 council meeting.

Planning and Zoning has recommended approval.

  

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