• I-70 Corridor Improvements - Cave Springs to Fairgrounds (Convention Center Blvd.)

    I-70 Corridor Improvements - Cave Springs to Fairgrounds (Convention Center Blvd.)

    I want to make sure you are aware of an important project that will transform the I-70 corridor between Cave Springs and Fairgrounds Road (Convention Center Blvd). This is a $62 million design-build project that will update an old segment of interstate in St. Charles County. Everyone has an opportunity to voice their opinions on this project and the critical time to do so is now.
    Throughout the county, I-70 carries the largest volumes of passenger vehicle and heavy vehicles compared to any other route.  As a result, corridor updates are critical for future growth.  This portion of I-70 is over 60 years old and has seen no major updates or expansion during that period.  The intersections within the Cave Springs and Zumbehl Road interchanges are among the most congested and unsafe in the county.
    What are the problems?

    1. High crash rate - Over the past five years, there have been approximately 3,000 crashes (significantly higher than comparable interstates)
    2. Congested Interchanges - The interchanges are congested and inefficient, sometimes backing up onto the Interstate.
    3. Inefficient outer roads -The outer roads are not used effectively because they are discontinuous, putting more traffic on the interstate. 
    These problems are impacting economic growth and redevelopment on the corridor. This is a severe problem and doing nothing is not an answer.  While the County overall has seen 30% economic growth over the last 10 years, this segment of I-70 from Cave Springs to Fairgrounds in St. Charles has grown only 6.8%.  By comparison, the I-70 corridor in St. Peters has seen a 33% economic growth during the same period and the O’Fallon segment 17.9%. 
    The public conversation about this project seems largely focused around those in favor and against one-way outer roads, as well as generic news headlines such as the recent Elliot Davis story “St. Charles businesses and residents oppose MoDOT’s proposed I-70 project.”  - this should not be the message we send to MoDOT.

    I want to make sure that the business community is providing MoDOT and the future design-build teams a consistent message.  Our message should emphasize that the interchanges of First Capitol Drive, Zumbehl Road and Cave Springs are a mess and need to be fixed.  Additionally, an accident on I-70 should not bring traffic to a halt and shut down St. Charles County.  The outer roads should be continuous and provide a simple diversion route allowing motorists to travel around an accident on mainline I-70. 
    However, it also important that we communicate that the solution cannot be more detrimental than doing nothing and that the design-build teams consider and understand the importance of local trips (and access) and the impact of their proposed solution on those local trips and appreciate that small changes can have a significant effect on the viability of a business. 
    I’m seeking your help.  Please complete the survey at I70csfg.com.  It is important that your survey response describe your concerns and not just opposition to a specific solution.  I’m asking you to help the Chamber change the public conversation to one that focuses on problems that need to be fixed and our gratitude and excitement that MoDOT has identified this section of I-70 as a priority.  
    • A procurement method encouraging innovation through a design competition based on project goals, budget and schedule. 
    • This technique has been known to significantly save time and provide cost savings.  Other projects constructed using design-build in the St. Louis region, Route 364, the new Boone Bridge, I-64 and most recently I-270 in North St. Louis County.
    1. Maximize improvements within the program budget of $62 million.
    2. Improve safety and efficiency of the transportation network while supporting connectivity for the local community.
    3. Provide a durable and maintainable transportation infrastructure allowing for future expansion.
    4. Minimize impacts to the traveling public during construction while safely delivering the project by November 1, 2023.
    5. Deliver the project using a diverse workforce.
    The corridor through St. Charles is tired and needs a "shot in the arm". Help us to focus our message on improved safety, the efficient movement of commerce, improved access, and opportunities for economic development along one of the region's busiest and oldest corridors.

    I believe that together we can find a solution that will improve safety and traffic flow while supporting local businesses and encouraging economic development on this important segment of I-70.

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