Several St. Charles City Council members have reconsidered their support for studying a possible switch to one-way outer roads along Interstate 70.
St. Charles contracted with Crawford, Bunte and Brammeier (CBB) last fall to study both long-term and short-term solutions to congestion at the Zumbehl Road and Cave Springs Boulevard interchanges.
The $174,000 study was paid for by both St. Charles and the St. Charles County Road Board. One-way outer roads between Zumbehl Road and Cave Springs Boulevard are one of the long-term solutions being studied.
In July, the St. Charles City Council discussed approving an expansion of the study to include a $40,000, visual simulation model of the one-way outer roads between Zumbehl Road and Mid Rivers Mall Drive, which could be presented to business owners and politicians, said John Greifzu, St. Charles County director of transportation. The city would be reimbursed for 90 percent of the cost.
"Obviously, there are concerns associated with it from business owners and politicians. It's a fairly significant change," Greifzu said. "The $40,000 was to create a model, a computer simulation model, which would show the real drivers driving on the road."
But the several city council members who attended a street committee meeting Tuesday agreed to bring the issue to the city council with a favorable recommendation.
Council president and Ward 8 Councilman Mike Klinghammer said he can see how exploring one-way outer roads is important to moving the process forward.
"If you don't look at the alternatives, we didn't complete the steps of the process we have to go through," Ward 6 Councilman Jerry Reese said.
Srinivas Yanamanamanda, transportation engineer for CBB, said it's important for the firm to offer two long-term solutions to the congestion problems at the conclusion of the study. One solution would be moving to a single-point, urban interchange, the kind used at Highway 94 and I-70, and the other would be moving to one-way outer roads.
Yanamanamanda said the additional funding would help CBB get public input on the impact of both options.
"It's not about saying, 'Let's go build one-way frontage roads,'" he said. "It's about saying, 'What are the pros and cons of both of them from a traffic standpoint?'"
The council is expected to consider whether to support expanding the study at the Aug. 16 council meeting.
Correction: Srinivas Yanamanamanda's name was spelled incorrectly in an earlier version of this article. Patch regrets the error.