County leaders propose short-term solutions to make Highway 61 s - KMOV.com

County leaders propose short-term solutions to make Highway 61 safer

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A mother and her two children were killed in this multi-vehicle crossover crash on January 21 on Highway 61 (KMOV) A mother and her two children were killed in this multi-vehicle crossover crash on January 21 on Highway 61 (KMOV)

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) - After another deadly accident on Highway 61 and a continued increase in daily traffic, local leaders have demanded changes be made to the dangerous stretch of road.

An average of 47,000 vehicles use the highway each day between Troy and Wentzville in Lincoln and St. Charles Counties.

Leaders of both counties have called on the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), who is responsible for the highway, to make safety improvements.  With an estimated cost of about $12 million, MoDOT says they do not have any room in the current budget to make any changes to the highway.

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann and Wentzville Mayor Nick Guccione, have pledged to work together in an effort to create a short-term solution until funding is available.

“Our leaders in Jefferson City, and citizens statewide, need to recognize the importance of our transportation infrastructure, not only to economic development, but to public safety. We must work together to secure the future of both,” said Ehlmann.

Officials say many cars speed on the stretch of highway and they hope a crackdown on speeding will reduce the problem until changes are made to the road.

With construction unlikely to start until 2017, Ehlmann and Guccione said in addition to requesting that MoDOT reduce the speed limit and add traffic lights at intersection, they will be stepping up traffic patrols in the area, in the meantime.

“With the money you have right now, is that a doable option? We have to review our option, and see where that prioritizes with our needs in the district, but yes it’s doable,” said MoDOT engineer Jim Wright when asked about the speed limit change suggestion. “It’s not a money thing here, we just want to make sure the resources we do have are spent in the right places.”

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