Public contribution wanted on I-55 improvements | Local Events

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The public is invited to view and comment on a preliminary design for a project that will add a third lane on I-55 between Pevely and Festus.

An in-person public session will be held on Wednesday, October 5 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Festus Public Library, 400 W. Main St.

The next day, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) will hold a virtual meeting from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m

Stephen O’Connor, MoDOT’s field engineer, said the October 5 event will be in an open house format with no formal presentation planned.

“People interested in the project can come and go,” he said. “We will have some presentation boards for people to look at and there will be staff who can answer questions.”

The next evening’s virtual meeting will take place via the Zoom video conferencing app.

“We will have a presenter and slides that illustrate the project, where participants can type in their questions and engineers can share their screens to answer those questions,” O’Connor said.

Prior registration for the virtual meeting is required through the I-55 Corridor Improvements section of the MoDOT website (modot.org).

No registration is required to attend the October 5 meeting at the Festus Public Library.

The project, estimated to cost up to $236 million, is included in the state’s current Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) approved by the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council of Governments, which coordinates road projects in the St. Louis area . The project calls for a widening and other improvements along the stretch of I-55 1 1/2 miles north of Hwy. Z in Pevely to 1 mile south of Hwy. 67 interchange south of the Twin Cities.

At its June 2 meeting in Hillsboro, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, which oversees MoDOT, approved the I-55 concept as a design-build project.

The permit will allow MoDOT to seek civil engineering companies to submit their plans for the project, and those companies will enlist a contractor to build to those specifications.

According to the current schedule, an engineering office will be awarded the contract for the project in May.

O’Connor said construction could begin later in 2023, with work to be completed sometime in 2026.

He said all of MoDOT’s comments will be considered as plans for the project are refined.

“What we will have at the meetings are conceptual plans made by a consulting engineer,” he said. “This is basically a framework that can be considered by the engineering firm that will ultimately design the project. The company that ultimately wins the project can develop its own solutions.”

O’Connor said it’s not uncommon for suggestions from the public to be incorporated into the plans.

“We consider all of the public’s comments and suggestions,” O’Connor said.

Those unable to attend either meeting can email written comments to Justin Wolf, the project manager, at [email protected]

Comments will be considered until October 19th.

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