Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Planners Envision Bustling, 6-Lane I-170 Extension

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Planners Envision Bustling, 6-Lane I-170 Extension

Article excerpt

A six-lane extension of Interstate 170 south would become one of the region's busiest expressways by 2015, with 154,200 vehicles a day passing the area north of Manchester Road, transportation planners say. It would attract motorists who travel to Clayton on roads as far away as Grand Avenue, they say.

The extension from Highway 40 to Interstate 55 is a top priority for St. Louis County officials. But it is opposed by residents who live on or near the potential route and by their municipal officials. Money for the $616 million project is uncertain.

Engineers from Sverdrup Civil Inc., consultants for a Cross-County Corridor transportation study, provided traffic estimates last week to managers of the study. Tom Darnold, analysis manager for the consultants, elaborated the findings in an interview. The I-170 extension would serve 75,600 vehicles just north of Interstate 55, 101,300 just north of Gravois Road, and 119,100 just north of Watson Road, the consultants said. Meanwhile, McCausland Avenue and Big Bend Boulevard, Hanley Road and Brentwood Boulevard would lose up to about half of their current traffic just south of Highway 40. Daily traffic on Hanley Road in that area - now crowded in the rush hours - would decline by nearly two-thirds. The count would drop to 13,7000 from 39,200. The daily traffic on McCausland would drop to 28,500 vehicles from 42,200 counted in 1994; Big Bend, 21,000 from 21,900; and Brentwood, 26,900 from 55,400. Darnold said three-fourths of the new expressway's traffic would come from the south and east and one-fourth from the west. The road would attract motorists mainly from south St. Louis County who now use Interstate 55 and 44 to get to Clayton. They switch to westbound Highway 40 at Grand Boulevard or Hampton Avenue, where the distance from Interstate 44 to Highway 40 is short. …

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