The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has agreed to provide up to $1.4 million for construction of a sidewalk along North Highway 47 in Warrenton.
Warrenton has plans to build 2 1/2 miles of sidewalk that will connect the area of the Interstate 70 North Outer Road to Hickory Lick Road. City leaders want the sidewalks to improve pedestrian safety along the highway.
MoDOT funding for the project will be provided in 2021, according to a cost-share agreement approved by the Warrenton Board of Aldermen March 5. 2021 is when actual construction is predicted to take place, said City Administrator Terri Thorn.
As part of the funding agreement, the city of Warrenton will also agree to maintain the sidewalk once it is built.
MoDOT’s contribution represents half of what it estimates the project will cost. The city of Warrenton would be responsible for the other $1.4 million, for a total of $2.8 million to build the sidewalk. Costs for the project include engineering, right of way acquisition, utility relocation and sidewalk construction.
Thorn said the longest portion of the project would be acquiring right of way agreements from landowners along Highway 47 to allow construction of the sidewalk on their properties. That process is expected to take up an entire year.
“There are more than 30 pieces of land that are involved, some very small, some larger,” Thorn told the board of aldermen during a March 5 public meeting. “Right of way acquisition is always the most time-consuming part of any project.”
The right of way acquisitions will have to follow specific MoDOT guidelines and possibly could require hiring a specialized legal service, Thorn said.
The sidewalk will be built along one side of Highway 47. It will travel along the west side, past McDonald’s and Aldi, from the North Outer Road to Fairgrounds Road. There, it will cross Highway 47 with a crosswalk, and travel along the east side of the highway to Hickory Lick Road.
Warrenton in November approved a $313,000 contract with engineering firm Crawford, Murphy & Tilly (CMT) to develop final plans for the sidewalk project. That contract will factor in as part of Warrenton’s share of the project, Thorn said.
Thorn described a time line for the next steps of the project during the March 5 board of aldermen meeting. Initial engineering plans are expected to be ready by June, and must be reviewed by MoDOT. Public meetings would then be scheduled in July so Warrenton residents can see an overview of the project plans.
September is when the city expects to start right of way acquisition, which it anticipates will take until fall of 2020 to finish.
“The sooner the right of way acquisition is completed, the sooner the project can move on to the next phase,” she added.
The project would then be let out for construction bids in March 2021, with construction finished by June that year, Thorn said.
The cost-share agreement with MoDOT includes a provision that if the sidewalk project comes in under budget, the savings will be split between MoDOT and the city. However, if the project runs over budget, the city of Warrenton will be responsible for any excess costs.