Commissioner Still Hoping For Highway FF Interchange
Crawford County District 2 Commissioner Jared Boast is still hoping the Missouri Department of Transportation will take seriously the prospect of turning the Highway FF overpass into an interchange.
Boast reaffirmed his desire Nov. 27 during a meeting with officials from the Meramec Regional Planning Commission and MoDOT”s Preston Kramer to set the county’s transportation priority list.
During his first year as commissioner in 2017, Boast expressed his desire to see the project come to fruition.
On Tuesday, he again said it would be worth revisiting.
Since the initial meeting in 2011, Boast said “the dynamics have changed.” Officials from Crawford County, Bourbon, West Sullivan, MoDOT and then-Rep. Dave Schatz met in March that year at Crawford Electric to discuss the possibility.
Kramer said Tuesday he always thought the project “was worthwhile,” but casted doubt that the access justification report would be strong enough to convince federal highway officials. Kramer called it “a great candidate for cost share” with no other way of getting funded.
He recalled telling West Sullivan officials the project would cost $20 million, causing “sticker shock.”
Boast said since then, the village has improved, citing a strong tax base, substantial growth, 40 additional housing units and the Mercy medical building on the south side. (Ed. note - the Mercy building is located in Sullivan)
Kramer asked if there was any significant industry, but Boast demurred, saying there was nothing he could talk about publicly.
In 2017, Kramer said there were “creative designs” drawn up for the project several years ago, but would have been unlikely to gain approval from the federal government. Kramer said roundabouts were proposed for the end of each interchange.