The East-West Gateway Council of Governments (EWGW) has long-range plans to add lanes to Interstate 70 in Wentzville.
EWGW’s long-range plan, called Connected2045, includes projects in the St. Charles County region. The I-70 and Norfolk Southern Railroad project in Wentzville is included in the long-range plan. The plan calls for additional lanes to be added to I-70 under the railroad bridge. The area is known to be the source of daily bottlenecks and delays on the interstate, due to the curve of the highway and limited number of lanes between Route Z and Wentzville Parkway.
While there is currently no funding earmarked for the project, St. Charles County officials are working with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and EWGW to identify funding sources.
“I am encouraged and pleased that this stretch of I-70 is now in East-West Gateway’s 20-year plan,” said St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann.
Ehlmann is a member of the board of directors for EWGW.
“The Norfolk Southern Railroad overpass is rated high in three areas of an annual congestion report: severity of congestion, total impact to the traveling public and congestion variability. This is a detriment to quality of life, as well as economic growth,” he said.
“I have been pushing this effort, along with Sen. Bill Eigel, Sen. Bob Onder and the mayors of St. Charles, St. Peters, O’Fallon, Lake Saint Louis and Wentzville, to get additional lanes added,” he added.
Several more projects in St. Charles County are awaiting final approval and could be included in transportation improvement program (TIP) funding. Public comments are being taken.
The two biggest of the proposed projects are on I-70. Plans are to reconfigure the I-70 interchange from Convention Center Boulevard to Zumbehl Road to help motorists navigate the outer roads, reduce congestion and improve safety. It is a $36 million project.
Another that also might impact Warren County motorists is a $46 million-plus rehabilitation of the Blanchette Bridge. Reconstruction of the westbound bridge, which was built in 1958, was completed in 2013. The eastbound span was built in 1978 and is awaiting approval to receive a similar repair.