St. Charles County examining safety improvements to Route N -

St. Charles County examining safety improvements to Route N

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Route N in St. Charles County. Credit: KMOV Route N in St. Charles County. Credit: KMOV

As the population in St. Charles County continues to grow at a rapid rate, the county is looking at whether one of the main roadways can handle the increased traffic.

Route N in Western St. Charles County is a two-lane, narrow and curvy road built 60 years ago. At the time, it was surrounded by farmland, but now developments are popping up all over and county officials say it’s becoming a safety concern for residents.

The nine-mile stretch west of I-64 is the key area of concern.

Nancy Phelps has lived on the windy stretch of road for 35 years. She moved her family out there for the peace and quiet.

“There were about 3,000 people here, nothing was open past 5:30,” said Phelps. “I was coming in on the highway today and I saw the sign say Wentzville, 29,000 and I thought to myself wow, that’s a lot.”

Phelps says the biggest concern is the increase in traffic, especially when school lets out, saying sometimes it’s impossible to pull out of her driveway.

Just a few blocks over, Kelly Hirtz lives in one of the new subdivisions and says she avoids Route N when she can.

“It’s crazy, backed up all the time, just a lot of congestion,” Hirtz said.

St. Charles County will spend $1.5 million to fund an Environmental Assessment study to review all of the existing problems.

“Once the EA is completed and approved, it will lay the foundation of potential alternatives for future work. Then, future effort can move into corridor preservation, access management, and the detailed design of specific road projects to be funded and then built,” reads the bill going before St. Charles County Council.

Route N is a MoDOT operated road but St. Charles County will vote to fund the study because they say the safety of the residents along the highway is a priority.

Back in 2015, some work was completed on Route N, including shouldering and pavement improvements to address immediate safety concerns. They are also examining changes to the intersection at Route N and Route Z, but those are on hold until after the competition of this study.

The study is expected to take 14 months.

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