Wright City Board of Aldermen hears plans for Proposition R funds

By Jack Underwood, Staff Writer
Posted 4/26/24

During their April 11 meeting the board met with Cochran Engineering to hear their proposal for the expansion of Roelker Road.

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Wright City Board of Aldermen hears plans for Proposition R funds


The Wright City Board of Aldermen met with representatives from Cochran Engineering during their meeting on April 11. The engineering firm was there to present their proposal on the expansion of Roelker Road. 

That expansion, along with a few smaller improvements, is being funded through the Proposition R bond issue that passed on the April 2 election. Mayor Michelle Heiliger expressed her thanks to constituents during the meeting for getting the measure passed. 

Kurt Daniels from Cochran Engineering delivered a presentation on what was feasible and what limitations there would be expanding the roadway that will run in front of the new Wright City High School. 

That building is expected to be complete in October of 2024 with the first classes being held starting in January of 2025.  

Daniels went on to describe some of the obstacles that will have to be overcome during the design and construction process. The right-of-way for the road is narrow compared to the improvements that the city is looking to make. 

There are also some pipes and culverts that would have to be managed along the roadway. 

He showed the board some options for how much right-of-way would be required for varying sizes of roadways. Currently the road sits at two lanes and would require more right-of-way to expand to four lanes and even further if a turn lane is added in front of the new high school.

Daniels said that while under that plan developers may have to give up more right-of-way in his experience they have been understanding since the changes will improve traffic flow in the area. 

“There’s always a little heartburn from the developers to give up the right-of-way but they also know that does help traffic flow to the area,” Daniels said. 

Cochran’s plan also included proposals for north-south corridors running from Roelker Road to thoroughfares north and south of the road. Their plans were preliminary and Daniels said that much of what they were presenting was really “food for thought” for the board. 

There is not an expected start date for construction since the city has yet to secure the funding from the bond measure. The city is currently in the process of obtaining a credit rating from the Moody’s Ratings Agency to issue the bonds. 

“The other part of that that’s happening with the financing is we have a company that we work with who is taking our city through the credit rating process to get those GO Bonds issued,” Alderman Karey Owens said. “Once we have those two pieces, we can get out for bond and get cracking on building a road.”

Owens also said the city’s plan was always to find the funds for the road improvements, however the passage of the bond issue would provide the city with improved loan terms compared to their alternatives. 

“Last year we passed a one percent sales tax increase with half of that money designated towards the road funds, so we were going to have to take that money anyway,” Owens said, “Being able to do it through general obligation bonds rather than the lease option just gives us more favorable terms and gives us a little bit higher limits.”

Owens along with other board members and Mayor Michelle Heiliger expressed their gratitude to citizens for working to get the measure passed. She felt it would be a significant improvement to the area’s infrastructure that would be needed as the area continues to grow. 

“It’s just gonna make a huge impact on our citizens' lives and get our infrastructure where it needs to be,” Owens said. 

Prop R, Wright City, Roelker Road