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Weiss Road at Route N intersection work taking longer than expected

On Dec. 29, 2020, Mid Rivers Newsmagazine published a story about work that had started to improve the traffic patterns at the intersection of Weiss Road and Route N. At that time, Cottleville City Administrator Rich Francis had outline improvements that will include relocating the signals to create a four-way intersection. 

A new multiuse trail also is to be added along the east side of Weiss Road, connecting into the existing trail system. The project, funded and managed by the St. Charles County Road Board, was anticipated to be completed in August 2021. However, construction is taking longer than expected.

According to Nathan Tormala, St. Charles County Highway construction manager, the most current information about the project’s progress and plans going forward is:

  • Notice for the contractor to proceed with work was given on Nov. 16, 2020, and the contractor began bringing construction materials and equipment to the project site. The first construction tasks of mobilization, surveying and staking, and placement of construction signage were completed by Dec. 1.   
  • The second task was removing guardrails and other roadway items in conflict with the proposed bypass roadway, placing traffic barriers and installing siltation control. This step was completed during the first week of December.
  • The third step was to build a temporary roadway base on the south side of Route N through the intersection, then widen the roadway with asphalt. Since the widening is temporary, only 6 inches of asphalt was used. This step was completed on Dec. 17. 
  • The fourth step was to restripe (paint stripes) the roadway onto the temporary bypass pavement, place traffic barricades, channelizers and temporary traffic signage; then, shift traffic onto the bypass lanes. This was completed on Dec. 18. 
  • The fifth step was to extend the existing box culvert that goes under Weiss Road to accommodate the new roadway position and the multiuse path. The box culvert work began on Dec. 21 with the removal of 2 feet of sediment from inside the existing box culvert. The sediment removal was completed on Jan. 5. The installation of the concrete box culvert had to be halted at this point. Due to COVID-19 restrictions in Illinois, the manufacturing and shipping of the 18 box culvert sections were delayed. The box culvert sections arrived on Jan. 27.  Installation began on Jan. 28 and was completed on Feb. 5. 
Weiss Road preparation work just north of Route N (John Tremmel photo)

Between Dec. 21 and Jan. 27, the contractor completed the non-box-culvert-related work that they could. This included breaking up abandoned pavement on Route N and installing some large storm sewer pipe along the east side of Weiss Road. The broken-up roadway pavement couldn’t be excavated any further since the rubble is to be used to build the initial Weiss Road section 5 feet higher than it is now, placing it above the 100-year floodplain. The actual filling work can’t begin until the large storm sewer being installed on the east side of Weiss Road is completed and connected into the extended box culvert. 

This is where construction work stopped. Ameren Electric facilities were in conflict with completing the storm sewer into the box culvert. Power poles were in the way and had to be moved, power had to be removed from the traffic signals and replaced where they were not in the way of the new roadway.

The county was aware of this potential conflict and had been working with Ameren over the past year to develop an electric utility relocation plan. Due to the traffic signals, this plan could not be implemented until the project was in progress. Additionally, the sequencing of project work prohibited work from proceeding until Ameren had completed its relocation work.

Impacted by COVID-19, Ameren completed its work on April 16. By law the contractor was required to refresh the location of existing utility before the contractor could restart its road excavation (similar to Ameren’s “Dig Right” program). Even though the locates are to be completed within three days of the time they are requested, they were not completed until April 30.  Weather then delayed the contractor’s restart until May 5.

The project completion date has been adjusted to around the middle of October 2021. The eastern side, where the roadway that has been torn up, will be completed first, and then the other side will be done.  The county does not expect any more delays.

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