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Phase 2 imminent for I-70 south outer road project

I-70 looking east from Woodlawn Avenue

O’Fallon has approved applying to the St. Charles County Road Board for additional scope and funding for the new south outer road to be constructed along I-70 between Woodlawn Avenue and Hwy. K.

In 2017, the Road Board had approved funding of $3,982,580 for this project, to be paid out of St. Charles County Transportation Sales Tax funds. 

Well after the original design was approved and funded, St. Charles County requested scope adjustments to ensure the project will accommodate additional lanes along the I-70 corridor in future years. Additional design and construction costs would be incurred due to these scope changes. The new total project cost is estimated at $5 million, an increase of $1,017,420.

The adjustments are to extend the south outer road project to just west of Woodlawn Avenue. The extension will provide more efficient access to the outer road and I-70 for those properties west of Woodlawn.

O’Fallon engineering project managers identified the scope of the project as:

  • Improvements to Crestview Drive to make it easier for drivers to get to Woodlawn, and allow more space for the new exit ramp from eastbound I-70.
  • A completely new south outer road between Woodlawn Avenue and Hwy. K.
  • Access to eastbound I-70 from Woodlawn Avenue by driving east on the new outer road across Hwy. K, then continuing on the eastbound south outer road between Hwy. K and TR Hughes Boulevard, instead of needing to drive south to Veterans Memorial Parkway, east on the parkway, and then north on Hwy. K.
  • “Texas U-Turns” at the east side of the Woodlawn Avenue overpass and the west side of the Hwy. K overpass, enabling drivers to go from westbound I-70 to eastbound and from eastbound I-70 to westbound without needing to get on Hwy. K or Woodlawn.
  • Four new retaining walls, including two with “soil nailed walls” (large steel rods through the steep-banked soil to hold it in place).
Details of the I-70 outer road improvements (Source: City of O’Fallon)

At its Sept. 24 meeting, the O’Fallon City Council conducted a first reading of Bill No. 7244 to approve entering into the amended agreement with St. Charles County for the expanded south outer road project. The bill is sponsored by council members Dave Hinman [Ward 1] and Debbie Cook [Ward 5].

If the usual process is followed, a second reading and vote for passage would be at the Oct. 8 council meeting. Passage by the city would be contingent on approval by the St. Charles County Council. If approved by O’Fallon on Oct. 8, the agreement would then go to the county council for a vote at that body’s Oct. 13 meeting.

According to the engineering project managers, assuming the county council approves the funding, the Phase 2 project timeline would be:

  • Detailed design work to be completed by the end of 2020, dependent upon Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) reviews.
  • Rights-of-way acquisition – already completed.
  • Bidding for construction work will begin as soon as design is finalized and approved by MoDOT.
  • Construction anticipated to begin in spring 2021 (weather dependent).
  • Project completion: spring 2022 (weather dependent).

No additional public open houses are planned for Phase 2.

“This Phase 2 schedule is about four months later than originally planned,” said O’Fallon Communications Director Tom Drabelle. He noted that the delay was “because the project scope changed completely when St. Charles County asked for the project to be redone to accommodate future widening of I-70.”

“COVID-19 and the weather have had no effect on the schedule,” Drabelle said.

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