BADEN – MoDOT has set aside $4.3 million to resurface and construct a median on a stretch of Riverview Boulevard (Route H) known for excessive vehicular speeds, crashes and misuse of the center lane for passing.
Resurfacing and construction of the stretch just north of Chain of Rocks Drive to north of I-270 will begin this fall with an estimated completion in fall 2020.
MoDOT held an open house Wednesday at the Baden Library, displaying blueprints and seeking feedback and suggestions from area residents and other users of the street.
Lawrence Chappel, a small contracting company owner who uses the road frequently, has witnessed the speeding and said he was happy that MoDOT planned to put up a median.
“It would be fantastic, because people speed down here like it’s a racetrack,” Chappel said.
His only concern is water drainage and the safety issues it could pose.
“The median would nice, but if there aren’t any drains, someone is going to hydroplane into the median,” said Chappel, a former St. Louis City Street Department worker.
Michelle Forneris, MoDOT’s St. Louis area engineer, said drains were being considered.
“We will do our best to work with MSD on the drainage,” Forneris said, putting a smile on the face of Dave Kargel, who lives on Riverview and complained that the shoulder near his house was often flooded.
Kargel was also happy about the median.
“I see T-bone crashes more than anything; this will stop the head-on crashes,” he said.
2nd Ward Alderwoman Lisa Middlebrook, who attended the open house, said the median was a great way to calm traffic along the road.
“We need more traffic control — it’s ridiculous how they speed,” she said, adding that a recently built pavilion in North Riverfront Park might draw more families to the park and increase traffic on Riverview.
“I want them to be safe driving down the street,” she said.
In addition to placing a median strip to calm traffic, the shoulder will be widened and legal U-turns will be available at Adrian and Spring Garden drives.
“We’re always looking at making any improvements that we can,” Forneris said.
MoDOT has a maintenance agreement with the city of St. Louis for roads within the city limits. They are responsible for signals, signs, striping, sweeping and pavement maintenance on Riverview.