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MoDOT to fix I-70 and I-64 interchange in St. Charles County to limit accidents

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MoDOT
Missouri Department of Transportation officials say a plan to rebuild the Interstates 70 and 64 and Highway 61 interchange in St. Charles County would help reduce accidents and ease congestion. MoDOT leaders say the project also would improve driving conditions.

Missouri Department of Transportation officials say a plan to rebuild the Interstates 70 and 64 and Highway 61 interchange in St. Charles County would reduce traffic congestion and accidents.

The $122 million project, unveiled Monday at Wentzville City Hall, would add several new ramps and lanes and eliminate the left lane exits of the interchange. The changes would address safety concerns and car accidents, said Tom Blair, MoDOT’s district engineer for the St. Louis area.

“We have too many crashes at the interchange of I-70 and I-64 in western St. Charles County, and then second issue, congestion,” Blair said. “With this project, we will be able to largely solve those issues, we will make a significantly safer and much more free-flowing interchange.”

Engineers selected the current proposal after reviewing 12 concepts over the past year. Blair said engineers received feedback on the designs from area mayors and other officials before arriving at the final proposal.

Every day, about 75,000 vehicles travel along I-64 south of the interchange, and more than 60,000 people use Highway 61, according to MoDOT officials. Blair said the changes also would improve road conditions for drivers traveling to St. Louis from Hannibal.

Some area residents say they like what they’ve heard so far.

“We use that intersection where 61 meets 70,” said Jim Brown, who lives in St. Charles County. “I think this will open it up to having a move right through, and I think it's really going to be great.”

St. Charles County has seen a population boom over the past several decades, and changes to the highways are critical as the population continues to grow, said Sandy Cash, a Wentzville resident.

“I think this is probably a good first step, and then we'll move on from there, but I don't think it's gonna solve our problems,” Cash said.

MoDOT also plans to improve the railroad overpass that runs over I-70 in Wentzville. Blair said the overpass project is fully funded with plans to start construction next year and ending in 2025.

Construction of the interchange project is expected to start in 2025 and last two years.

Blair said $77 million in state and federal tax funds already have been secured. He said even if MoDOT doesn’t obtain full funding for the project, it has enough to make significant changes.

MoDOT is still accepting public comments on its plan. Blair said MoDOT leaders would weigh community input when finalizing their design.

“The problems at I-70 and 64 in western St. Charles County have been here for a few years now and we've had this on our list,” he said. “This is a direct indication of our increased investment in transportation at the state level and at the federal level."

Follow Chad on Twitter: @iamcdavis

Chad is a general assignment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.

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