As a result of our Open House held on January 8, 2004 at Oakville Senior High School, comments from community leaders, staff and the public, Alternate 4 was chosen as the preferred alignment. Unfortunately, due to financial and regulatory pressures, detailed below, the original design is no longer feasible. Saint Louis County has since re-evaluated and re-designed the Baumgartner Road project to meet these challenges while still meeting the design goals of the original project.
Why Changes to the Original Concept Plan Are Required:
- Declining economic conditions have negatively impacted available funding.
- New federal water quality regulations, which went into effect August of 2007, significantly increased the cost of the original project.
- New federal water quality regulations also encourage new construction projects to avoid removing natural waterways whenever possible. This measure helps to ensure that our environment and waterways remain healthy and clean. The original plan required the creek, which runs parallel to Baumgartner Road, to be enclosed. This is in direct conflict with the new federal mandate.
- Revised traffic projections do not show a significant increase in traffic volume over the next 30 years.
Purpose and Need:
- According to many residents who attended our South County Transportation Forum, the existing intersection of Baumgartner and Old Baumgartner presents serious safety concerns. Our own studies of the issue confirmed these concerns. Motorists traveling northeast on Baumgartner (away from Black Forrest Drive) must, before curling around the intersection to continue on Baumgartner, turn their heads 180 degrees to determine if oncoming vehicles are driving east toward them on Baumgartner. A curve and hill immediately west of the intersection further complicates and increases the level of danger involved in executing this maneuver.
- The ‘T’ intersection of Milburn and Old Baumgartner is often subject to heavy congestion, particularly when funneling traffic flow in and out of nearby Oakville High School. Buses and large, delivery-type type trucks also have difficulty maneuvering through this area.
- Highway Department Project Manager is Joe Kulessa, (314) 615-8584.
- Design will be done in-house. Proceeding with detailed design.
- Construction contract fall 2012.
- Fireleaf Drive to Black Forest Drive, a distance of approximately half a mile.
- Project Located in County Council District 6.
Revised Project Description:
- Realign Baumgartner Road, Old Baumgartner Road, and Milburn Avenue to enhance traffic flow.
- Provide dedicated turn lanes for all major traffic movements.
- Install traffic signal at intersection of Baumgartner Road and Milburn Avenue
- Install traffic signal at intersection of Milburn Avenue and Old Baumgartner Road.
- Design Baumgartner Road to be posted at the existing 35mph.
- Design continuous five-foot wide sidewalk meeting ADA requirements.
- Use open drainage channels to reduce environmental impact.
- Work will be done in conjunction with Phase II of the MSD Baumgartner & Black Forest Sanitary Replacement project.
What has changed:
- Roadways will use open ditch drainage systems. Open drainage systems are much more environmentally friendly than enclosed culvert systems. Sediment, debris, and other roadway contaminates will settle out of the roadway runoff before the runoff reaches the creek, preventing pollution of the natural waterway and promoting a healthy ecosystem.
- Posted speed on New Baumgartner Road will remain 35mph. Maintaining the current posted speed limit is essential to maintaining the creek which runs parallel to Baumgartner Road.
The project will extend from Black Forrest to Fireleaf Drive, a distance of approximately half a mile. This reduced scope will significantly reduce the cost of the project while still providing 90% of the original project goals.