Highway FF Interchange Remains Target
As District 2 Commissioner, Jared Boast has been a part of three meetings to establish the county’s transportation priority list.
Each year, Boast has expressed his desire to keep the possibility of making the Highway FF overpass an interchange a reality.
“I say it every year,” said Boast on October 22 during a meeting with Missouri Department of Transportation liaison Preston Kramer and Meramec Regional Planning Commission Planning Manager Anne Freand.
Since the project was first discussed in March 2011, it has largely been dormant.
Kramer said the initial cost was around $20 million and is not the type of project MoDOT funds at 100 percent; however, there are opportunities for partnering with local industries.
“MoDOT doesn’t just partner with cities and counties. We have partnered with industry as well,” Kramer said.
According to Kramer, MoDOT has money set aside for economic development — “not a very big pot of money” — that can fund 100 percent of a project if it creates jobs.
“If Menards or (Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital) or other entities say the lack of an interchange is a reason they are not adding jobs and if it was to become an interchange they would add jobs, that makes it a good candidate for economic development,” Kramer said.
Money would have to be refunded if jobs are not created, he said.
“Anything is better than nothing,” said Boast, who has felt turning it into an interchange has been more about safety than economic development.
The commissioner said that trucks are hauling rock out of the quarry on Highway FF and using the outer roads to reach Menards in Stanton.
“We have a whole year of data on Menards,” Boast said.
The commissioner wants to see a meeting between MoDOT and individuals from West Sullivan.
“There has been a substantial debt reduction in West Sullivan and some significant income added,” he said. “Even though there’s been sticker shock, it might not hurt to have a roundtable and take a look at this.”
Boast said there are some “key team players” in West Sullivan that would help in right-of-way acquisition and drive the cost down.