Is This Why We're Broke? Taxpayer-funded landscaping on Hwy. 141 an eyesore

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by Chris Nagus / News 4 and KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on July 2, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 3 at 10:42 AM

(KMOV)-- A News 4 viewer spotted something that didn't look right: an expensive landscaping project that looks terrible. Taxpayers paid more than $270,000 for what looks like a weed field, leading News 4 to ask “Is This Why We're Broke?”

There's no question, the Highway 141 expansion in west St. Louis County has eased congestion. But besides better commutes, drivers have also noticed something else.

One driver told News 4 “I would say the flowers were beautiful when they first planted them, but I can tell they are not as well taken care of now.”

Money was earmarked to beautify the intersections of 141 and Ladue Rd and 141 and Olive Blvd.

Shrubs and flowers were planted, mulch was installed, but it was not maintained and it has been swallowed by waist-high weeds.

So News 4’s Chris Nagus went to the Missouri Department of Transportation for answers.

MoDOT engineer Michelle Voegele says the contractor is still working to install plants before excessive summer heat sets in.

“We understand it’s unsightly, but our contractor will be back,” said Voegele.

After it is complete, it will be up the city of Chesterfield to maintain the project. Voegele says MoDOT won't sign off on the job until the landscaper comes back to clean up the intersections.

Voegele told News 4 “they will be out there weeding, we have not accepted the project.”

And because it's hard to tell what's buried beneath the weeds, Voegele says any plants that are dead will be replaced.

There is a one-year warranty on the $270,810 landscaping job.

If you spot something that just doesn't look right, or has you asking ask “Is This Why We're Broke?” email Chris Nagus at cnagus@kmov.com. 

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