Green Park aldermen move forward on road project

Estimated cost of Green Park Road work more than originally planned

By BURKE WASSON

Green Park aldermen took steps last week to move forward with the reconstruction of Green Park Road by approving agreements with a consulting firm and the engineering group designing the project.

The Board of Aldermen voted 5-0 to execute a consulting agreement with Mark Payken of Payken Consulting to assist the city in purchasing Green Park Road properties that are needed to complete the road’s redevelopment.

Aldermen also voted 5-0 at the board’s July 21 meeting to execute an engineering contract with the Weis Design Group. Ward 2 Alderman Tim Thuston was absent.

While aldermen had voted in June to enter into a contract not to exceed $15,000 with Payken, Mayor Tony Konopka said that additional services for temporary easements were needed.

“It has been determined that more services will be needed from Mr. Payken than previously anticipated,” he said. “The main costs, of course, are associated with the acquisition of the temporary-easement license needed for city contractors to work on driveways and adjoining properties on the south side of Green Park Road. The city also determined that the city needs someone with public-works experience to shepherd the preconstruction and construction process. That’s to ensure a smooth and coordinated undertaking of the project.”

The mayor added that the city would meet the East-West Gateway Council of Governments’ July 31 deadline for the city to deliver project submittals for construction on Green Park Road to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Konopka received a letter July 7 from East-West Gateway, which approved a federal grant funding 80 percent of Green Park Road’s reconstruction, stating that the July 31 deadline must be met “in order to ensure obligation of funds.”

Project submittals for engineering must be delivered by Aug. 15 to MoDOT.

East-West Gateway Division Manager James M. Wild also wrote in the letter that the East-West Gateway Board of Directors set a Sept. 30 suspense date to obligate federal funds.

“Please note that any federal funds not obligated by Sept. 30, 2008, will be re-moved from the TIP (Transportation Improvement Program) and placed back into the regional funding pool,” Wild wrote.

As for the city’s agreement with Weis Design Group last week, City Attorney Paul Rost said that ordinance is tied to the eventual Green Park Road bridge replacement.

“This is the next step in the bridge grant process for Green Park Road Bridge,” Rost said. “MoDOT requires that a standard agreement be entered into to participate in the 80-20 (percent) reimbursement for the design and construction phase and engineering for that bridge construction.”

The Board of Aldermen is expected to vote by September on a final design plan to be put out for bid for Green Park Road’s reconstruction from Tesson Ferry Road to Lin Valle Drive. Besides these contracts, city officials learned in June that they will have to pay an additional $4,500 for an up-dated appraisal of the Green Park Road property to be redeveloped. The updated appraisal is required because of modifications that aldermen made last year to the design plans to move a trail from the road’s more residential south side to the north side next to Clydesdale Park.

Aldermen unanimously voted last September to amend the city’s contract with the Weis Design Group for additional design services and to apply for a grant to help pay for those extra design services.

The city already had received a $4,000 grant from the Municipal Park Grant Com-mission of St. Louis County to assist in the planning phase of a new pedestrian pathway along the road’s north side.

Because of that decision, the city last year was billed for additional design services by the Weis Design Group in the amount of $29,000, which brought the original budgeted payment of $200,000 to the engineering firm slightly above that benchmark to $201,914.

Green Park Road is to be redeveloped along a 6,000-foot stretch from Tesson Ferry Road to Lin Valle Drive, according to preliminary plans. The road will be widened with two extra feet of lanes on each side to make 12-foot lanes.

Other improvements for Green Park Road include the new pedestrian pathway along the road’s north side, an additional right-turn lane at the road’s intersection with Tesson Ferry Road and a new left-turn lane at Antrill Drive.

Preliminary design plans also call for eliminating drop-offs and ditches from the road and replacing them with vertical curbs on each side. Because the curbing would replace ditches on each side of the road, a storm sewer would be installed across the road’s length.

Substantial grade changes also will be made at the road’s intersections with Kohrs Lane, Mueller Road and Lisa Marie Court to improve sight-line visibility and provide better curb alignment.

The second phase of Green Park Road’s reconstruction includes widening its bridge over Gravois Creek. With plans for the first phase of the project still undecided, the second phase likely will not begin until 2010 at the earliest.

The Green Park Road redevelopment was originally a $2.4 million project, with 80 percent of that cost being paid through a federal grant obtained through the East-West Gateway Council of Governments.

But the project now will be more costly than anticipated due to such factors as the city’s plans to construct the pedestrian pathway along the road’s north side instead of a sidewalk down the more residential south side and also because of estimated increases in construction costs over time.

City officials also are studying options to purchase property on the road’s north side to accommodate the road’s planned 2-foot widening in each lane and the pedestrian pathway.

City officials have worked with the county Department of Parks and Recreation to use park land alongside Green Park Road that is adjacent to Clydesdale Park.

Because federal funds helped to construct the park, the city must find and purchase property to trade to the park in exchange for the county-owned property needed for the pedestrian pathway. City officials also must convince federal agencies that the park property is needed to make improvements along Green Park Road.

Moving the pathway to the road’s north side also will affect three houses on that same side of Green Park Road. Payken’s services will be utilized in that regard.