South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Green Park board OKs additional funds for road design

Mayor Konopka anticipates city could bid project in early 2008

As Green Park aldermen agreed last week to pay an additional $29,000 to the engineering firm designing the much-delayed Green Park Road project, Mayor Tony Konopka said he believes a final decision on the road improvements will be made by late 2008.

The Board of Aldermen unanimously voted Sept. 17 to amend the city’s contract with the Weis Design Group for additional design services and to apply for a grant to help fund those extra design services.

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

That pathway originally was designed to be on the road’s more residential south side, but was moved this year by aldermen.

Because of that decision, the city was billed for additional design services by the Weis Design Group in the amount of $29,000.

Konopka said the additional $29,000 that will be paid to the Weis Design Group will bring the city’s original budgeted payment of $200,000 to the engineering firm slightly above that amount.

“There was $200,000 that was budgeted for this planning design,” Konopka said. “This is not me. This was previous administration. And up to this point, there was $172,914.23 that was spent, which is 86.5 percent of the budget …

“Right now, we’re in the design phase. And this will more or less finish up the design phase.”

The mayor added that when the design on the road project is completed by early 2008, he anticipates the city would be ready to request bids for the completion of the Green Park Road project.

“As soon as Weis gets this design phase done, that’s when I believe I would do it,” Konopka said. “Of course, I can’t speak for the board. I would feel as soon as the design phase is done, that’s when we would put it out for bid.”

Green Park Road will be redeveloped along a 6,000-foot stretch from Tesson Ferry Road to Lin Valle Drive, according to preliminary plans.

The road will benefit from two extra feet of lanes on each side to make 12-foot lanes, the 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 will also 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. This is due to factors like the city’s recent intentions 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 are working with the St. Louis 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 necessary to make improvements along Green Park Road.

Moving the pathway to the road’s north side will also affect three houses on that same side of Green Park Road.

Mike Schillito of the Weis Design Group has said while that remains an option, he anticipates the city might have trouble acquiring property from those three homeowners as well as from St. Louis County for land at Clydesdale Park, which is also on the north side.

Konopka has said while the county currently is opposed to the pathway being built on park land, representatives from the Missouri Department of Transportation and the East-West Gateway Council of Governments believe it is feasible.

With all of these factors and more to consider, Konopka has reiterated that city officials will not know many of those additional costs until final plans are approved in roughly a year.

After improvements have been made to Green Park Road through its second phase, Board of Aldermen President Anthony Pousosa and various city officials have said they would like the board to eventually reconsider a plan denied by aldermen in May to connect Lin Valle Drive to Lindbergh Boulevard.

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