Residents discuss intersection

January 14, 2008

LA MONTE — A representative of the Missouri Department of Transportation met with La Monte residents Monday to discuss plans for the town’s intersection.

MoDOT Project Manager Jason Vanderfeltz presented a standing-room only crowd of more than 50 people with new plans for two U.S. 50 intersections at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Those plans call for a new offset right turn at the Pleasant Green Road intersection and advanced warning lights at the state Route 127 crossing.

The new plans came after MoDOT’s initial idea for the intersections, which called for the removal of both existing median crossovers at the intersections, was scrapped following public outcry at a November public meeting.

“We felt like overall, we addressed what we could from the public meeting,” Vanderfeltz told the crowd at City Hall, showing a breakdown of complaint and explaining why suggestions such as a traffic light were unfeasible at the location.

Locals peppered Vanderfeltz with concerns over the new plans, ranging from questions about acceleration and deceleration lanes to indignation over the timing of traffic counts. They also made suggestions such as better intersection illumination that Vanderfeltz said he would look into.

Though the meeting was at times contentious, the council unanimously voted to approve the plans to applause from the group.

La Monte residents seemed pleased with the outcome and were appreciative that MoDOT took their concerns into consideration.

“He made some changes that I think everybody down here can accept,” said Loren Denny. “I think they went to a lot of trouble to satisfy the townspeople.”

“It’s a whole lot better than what we had before,” said Fire Board member John Stepp, adding the new plans did much to address concerns over

emergency access. Stepp said it would be a good idea to go forward with the plans, then hope for additions like deceleration lanes later.

Council members seemed pleased with the outcome.

“I thought it was real good,” said Ward 2 Councilman Lanny Stark."I just hope that they go through with it, that they don’t change their minds.”

“I think it went fine. I think most of the town was satisfied,” Mayor Bill Hering said, adding he’d still like to see a study on summer traffic patterns at the intersections.

Vanderfeltz was happy with how the meeting turned out.

“It actually went good, it went well,” he said. “I was wanting to get a consensus, and we did.”

The project will likely go out for bid this fall with construction kicking off in spring 2009, Vanderfeltz said.

Also at the meeting, the council:

•Approved the town’s portion of the state’s AT&T cell phone tax settlement for $14,633, and agreed to send $733 to the state Municipal League for money spent during the lawsuit.

•Approved the town’s storm shelter plans so the plans could be sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.