Residents divided on Highway 109 project -

Residents divided on Highway 109 project

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

WILDWOOD (KMOV) - A MoDOT plan to widen what is deemed a dangerous road is receiving mixed reviews from residents.

The plan calls for widening Missouri Route 109 between Clayton Road and Manchester Road. Currently the roadway is only two lanes wide but the construction would expand it to four lanes and add two roundabouts. The estimated $7 million project will start in the summer of 2013.

An estimated 20,000 vehicles use this specific stretch of Route109 everyday. MoDOT believes the plan will make the road safer and will allow for better traffic flow. Some residents, are skeptical.

"They have models, they have studies, but we live it," resident Jim Van Nest said.

Van Nest is concerned about the roundabout that is supposed to be installed just a few hundred yards south of the entrance to the subdivision where he lives. Van Nest lives on the Windsor Crest subdivision.

"The one at Route 100 we feel is to close up because on the south side of 100 they're still going to have a red and green light that will cause traffic to back-up through the roundabout during the afternoon rush hours," Van Nest said.

MoDOT insists the current problem is too many left turns. Those who turn left out of the subdivisions have to cross a lane of traffic to get onto Route 109. Those on Route 109 have to cross a lane of traffic when they want to turn into a subdivision. MoDOT roundabouts have been in use in the St. Louis area for ten years and are a staple for traffic control.

"Your serious crashes, your severe injury crashes are reduced by 75% in some recent studies," said MoDOT's Michelle Voegele.

The plan also calls for two pedestrian tunnels so those crossing Highway 109 won't be playing with their lives.

There is still talk of a solution for Van Nest's neighborhood.

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