City to work to minimize inconvenience for those affected by road, bridge work

Entire project could be done by Thanksgiving, Weis said.

By MIKE ANTHONY

The long-awaited development of Green Park Road will be inconvenient to many, but contractors will work to ensure residents and business operators affected by the construction will continue to have access to their homes and places of employment.

Roughly 50 people, including residents and business owners, attended a construction update meeting last week in the training facility at the Mehlville Fire Protection District’s headquarters on Mueller Road in Green Park.

“… There will be inconvenience. That’s no doubt, but the city — we will try to keep the inconvenience down to a minimum,” Mayor Tony Konopka said Feb. 28. “Whenever we’ve had a road project in the city, there’s always been some inconvenience, but the thing to keep in mind is really how nice it’s going to be after it’s done …”

Tom Weis of the Weis Design Group and Mark Payken of Payken Consulting outlined the construction process and timeline for the improvements, which will include the redevelopment of Green Park Road and the replacement of the bridge over Gravois Creek.

Work was set to begin on the demolition of the bridge once Laclede Gas temporarily reroutes a gas main to the Green Park Commerce Center, Weis said, noting that demolition work could start late this week or early next week.

“… One of the key things when we were looking at the construction schedule for Green Park Road, we didn’t want to have too much torn up on the road project while the bridge was being replaced,” he said. “And so while this bridge is being out of commission essentially until June, we will have a bypass road for emergency purposes and for local traffic that will use the industrial park bridge and a bypass road …”

While the bridge work is occurring, the road project will start with the demolition of three houses on Green Park Road near Tesson Ferry Road. The Green Park Road project will include two phases.

The first phase will include sewers, utilities and demolition work while the second phase will encompass grading, pavement and restoration work.

After the houses are demolished, work on the storm sewers will begin and will be done in four stages: from Tesson Ferry Road to 9738 Green Park Road; from 9738 Green Park Road to Antrill Drive; from Antrill Drive to 9300 Green Park Road; and from 9300 Green Park Road to Lin Valle Drive.

Noting each stage of the first phase of work will take about one month, Weis said, “… As we start to come up on the month of June, the bridge will then be substantially complete. The sewer improvements and the utilities on the road will be substantially complete …”

Once the bridge reopens to traffic, the second phase of road work will begin in three stages: from Lin Valle Drive to 9400 Green Park Road; from 9400 Green Park Road to 9744 Green Park Road; and from 9744 Green Park Road to Tesson Ferry Road.

The “toughest part” of the grade changes will occur in that first stage from Lin Valle Drive to 9400 Green Park Road, Weis said.

Depending on weather and other factors, the entire project could be completed by Thanksgiving, he said.

“… As the mayor indicated, there will be pain and suffering by you all, just like any road project,” Weis said. “This one is obviously significant to the community and it’s a long-term benefit to the community. It will clean up a lot of things. The drop-off shoulders won’t be there. We’ll have curb and gutter. It’s going to have sewer and sidewalk on the one side, which will be on the park side, and crosswalks …

“During these stages when the road starts to become torn out, there will be access to the people that live there. That’s called local traffic. The people that cut through your community on a daily basis aren’t going to be very happy with us, but we’re trying to accomplish something for the community …”

Project officials are working closely with St. Louis County Police Department and Mehlville Fire Protection District officials to ensure adequate space for police and fire vehicles during the construction.

Payken said, “One thing I to stress is that when we’re working on a particular phase, if you’re down at the other end, you’ll still be able to get around and move around like you always have. So you just need to be mindful of what’s going on and try to avoid those places if you can, but if you live in that area, obviously you’ve got to get into your house. But it isn’t like everything’s going to be all torn up all at once. It will just be done in stages.”

Weis emphasized that residents and businesses always will have access to their homes and places of employment during construction.

“There’s going to be a way for you to get to your home,” Weis said. “We’re obviously more concerned about the residents and businesses of Green Park than we are of anybody else wanting to cut through.

“That’s our first concern. Secondly and of the same importance is fire, police and safety. Again, they are on board with us and will be on board …”

Questions from residents and business representatives last week centered on having access to their homes and businesses during the project, particularly while the bridge is under construction.

Ed Gapsch of Gapsch CARSTAR Collision Center asked if local traffic would include employees, customers and vendors for his business on Green Road Road.

“… That’s right,” Weis said. “Anybody that works or lives in Green Park is considered local.”

Gapsch said, “What about customers, though?”

Weis said, “Yeah, if they’re coming to your business that would be part of your local traffic …”

The city’s 2011 budget projects the total cost of the redevelopment of Green Park Road, including the bridge replacement, at $3,080,740.

Eighty percent of the road construction will be funded through a federal grant approved in 2003 and 80 percent of the bridge placement will be funded through a federal grant approved in 2006.

The city’s 2011 budget lists grant revenue totaling $2,464,592.

Plans call for redeveloping a roughly 6,000-foot stretch of Green Park Road from Tesson Ferry Road to Lin Valle Drive.

The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously in November to name L. Krupp Construction Inc. of Ballwin the contractor for the project. The board approved Krupp’s bid of $2,159,723.33 as the lowest and best bid of the seven submitted.

Bids ranged from Krupp’s low bid to a high bid of $2.4 million.

In December, aldermen voted unanimously to name Concrete Strategies of Overland the contractor for the bridge project. The company’s $739,596 bid was the lowest of seven submitted.