More sidewalks are coming to Frederick Boulevard and the North Belt Highway thanks to securing federal grants.
St. Joseph has been growing and the Department of Transportation has identified more pedestrian use, especially in the area of the East Hills Shopping Center, said Don Wichern, the District Engineer. Sidewalks also reduce the possibility of pedestrian and vehicle accidents, he said.
Sidewalk additions will improve accessibility, too.
“Filling these sidewalk gaps to make this area much more accessible for pedestrians has been a goal for a long time, and we are pleased we have finally received funding to do so,” said Wes Moore, Missouri Department of Transportation project manager. “More people will able to safely walk to the many restaurants, shops and other attractions in the vicinity without having to drive.”
The first project to receive new sidewalks and other possible improvements includes both sides of the road on Frederick Boulevard from Woodbine Road to the Belt Highway intersection.
The $600,000 Frederick Boulevard project will fill the gaps on both the north and south sides of the road, allowing pedestrians to traverse from Woodbine Road to the Belt Highway. Pedestrians traveling west on Frederick Boulevard to Frederick Avenue already can walk west from the Belt Highway.
MoDOT staff is working with business owners in the area to work out the details with the right-of- way involved, Mr. Moore said. The project is set to be bid in May and completed by winter of 2013.
A second project will begin in late fall of 2013 and will install sidewalks on both sides of North Belt Highway from Ashland Avenue to Northridge Drive and the west side of the North Belt Highway from Northridge Drive to County Line Road. This second project is estimated to cost $800,000, with construction starting in the spring of 2014.
Other possible improvements in the area could include updating pedestrian crossings to improve safety and access. MoDOT also will work to improve the aesthetics of the area by including more grass, and making these areas cleaner and more attractive.
The entire cost of the project will be approximately $1,400,000. The state of Missouri will provide a 20-percent match.
Funding for transportation enhancements were awarded to other cities within the Northwest District. The cities are responsible to provide the 20-percent match for the project costs. These projects vary from sidewalk construction to downtown revitalization improvements.
The projects are: St. Joseph, two urban trail projects; Maryville, a sidewalk project along Fourth Street; Cameron, sidewalks along Walnut Street, including a pedestrian walkway on the U.S. Highway 36 overpass; Rock Port, sidewalk improvements along Main Street; and Milan, downtown revitalization and sidewalk improvements.
The transportation enhancement program includes federal funds that cannot be used for roadway maintenance.