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MoDOT Route N Study continues despite pandemic

In early 2019, the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) St. Louis District, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and St. Charles County, began a study to assess the issues and needs of the Route N corridor in St. Charles County and determine the best approach to address them. For various reasons, many residents of the county have an interest in the outcome of this study.

Route N Study Area (source: MoDOT)

According to the study and based on 2018 traffic counts, daily traffic on Route N ranges from fewer than 5,500 vehicles west of Route Z to more than 18,000 vehicles west of US-40/I-64.

To help alleviate congestion, the Route N Study has identified a tentative preferred alternative, dubbed the Buckner Road Alternative. That route starts at the I-64 interchange with Route 364, continues west on the Route N right-of-way to the intersection of Route N with Route Z, then west of Route Z transfers to Buckner Road on new alignment. Next, it follows Buckner Road to South Pointe Prairie Road and north to a future new road, the David Hoekel Parkway.

Tentative Preferred Alternative map (source: MoDOT)

MoDOT is in the process of completing an environmental assessment (EA) that includes:

  • Details about how decisions were made for the study.
  • The conceptual alternatives, reasonable alternatives, screening of alternatives and impacts of the alternatives.
  • Public involvement.
  • The identified tentative preferred alternative. 

A draft of that document was circulated for comment in late 2019.

To obtain an update on the current status of the Route N Study, Mid Rivers Newsmagazine reached out to MoDOT project manager Shaun Tooley.

Route N traffic at Hopewell (Source: MoDOT)

“The Route N Study continues to be in the review phase. The EA has been drafted by the study team and reviewed by MoDOT and FHWA,” Tooley said. “Approval has not taken place, as the recent focus has been on regional planning processes including the projects, identified within the study, into the region’s Long-Range Transportation Plan.”  

He clarified that this process will continue through late summer with the anticipated conclusion coming in late 2021 or early 2022.

“Further updates will be posted to the study website (routenstudy.com) as that process concludes and the study is ready to move forward toward a conclusion. Stakeholders on the study’s email list will receive email notification as the study moves forward,” Tooley explained.

By summer 2021, he anticipates that “the study team will be in a better position to provide additional details on the anticipated timeline for the conclusion of the study and the next steps along the study corridor.”

“We aim to have some form of public involvement to share those next steps,” Tooley said. “At that time more information will be available.”

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