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UPDATE: Map and more now posted below original post.
A section of Hopper Road including the Interstate 55 overpass closed on May 9 to the frustration of those who use the path everyday. And to make the situation more aggravating to those affected, it doesn’t “look” like anything is happening.
“It is just not visible work,” said Development Services Director Alex McElroy to City Council Monday night. During the meeting, Ward 6 Representative Wayne Bowen had asked staff for a project update and to keep residents better informed of project progress.
There is not any earth moving on the site as of May 17, which is something people commonly expect to see, but there is some very important activity underway.
Major utilities converge at what will be the intersection of Hopper Road and Veterans Memorial Drive near the overpass. Ameren, Charter and AT&T all have major utility relocation projects, and both Ameren and AT&T have utilities crossing the highway at this location. Staff also hopes to accommodate connections for a future tornado siren in the area. Rain has delayed initial progress in this phase, but staff expects the contractor to be tearing out parts of the road as soon as weather permits.
When complete later this year, Veterans Memorial Drive will be extended from Scenic Drive down to Hopper Road (Phase 5, see map), facilitating quicker access to North Kingshighway and Interstate 55 from surrounding subdivisions. The area of Hopper Road closing will be straightened, removing previously curvy and accident-prone areas. A stop sign will also be added, providing additional safety enhancements for those living near the area. The overall Veterans Memorial Drive project is also expected to open up commercial opportunities. Voters approved phase 5 of the project as a part of the Transportation Trust Fund 4 in August 2010.
UPDATE: May 20, 2016: Map, Utilities, Lanes
Click on the map of Veterans Memorial, Hopper Road, and the affected utilities, to enlarge it or click/tap here.
After speaking with Ameren Electric and Charter Communications they assured our project engineer, Mr. Jake Garrard, that there will be no service interrupts to customers while the utility relocations are occurring. Since there are no scheduled interrupts, customers should contact the utility provider immediately during any loss of service to have the problem corrected. AT&T, however, said that a 3-hour window of service loss will be necessary to change over their services. The date of the service loss is not known at the time, but once the date is known, AT&T will contact the City and the City will in turn pass along that information.
LANES CANNOT REMAIN OPEN DURING CONSTRUCTION
Some of you have asked if one lane could remain open during construction and unfortunately, no, it cannot. If you look at the map, you can see that due to the nature and amount of construction that will take place in the area of Hopper Road there is no safe way to allow a traffic lane to be left open during construction. Also, by completely removing the roadway the contractor can work more efficiently and will be able to complete the work quicker than if a lane was left open.
Update: June 13, 2016: Ameren Power Line Relocation Underway
Ameren began work on power line relocation last week along Hopper Road. Images below: