WENTZVILLE, Mo. – It’s no secret, St. Charles County is growing, and county executive Steve Ehlmann is calling out the Missouri Department of Transportation for not including any increased capacity for the Interstate 70 area in Wentzville.
“Everybody out here knows the bottleneck is out here in Wentzville,” he said.
Interstate 64 comes into I-70, you basically have five lanes of traffic squeezing into two to go under the railroad bridge.
“There's been a plan to fix it for 15 years, but there's no money. But we at least thought that ‘study’ would make it clear that when money came available this is something that needs to be fixed.”
Elhmann and five area mayors sent a letter to MoDOT asking them to consider adding increased capacity on I-70 to keep up with their growth.
While MoDOT wouldn’t speak with on camera, a spokesperson sent out this statement:
"Adding more capacity on I-70 in St. Charles County is one of the recommended strategies of this study. While it may not have ranked as high as other strategies, there is nothing in this study's outcome that would prevent additional lanes from being pursued in the future. One of MoDOT's priorities, as identified in the Missouri state freight plan, is dealing with freight bottlenecks, a number of which are on I-70 across the state.”
Ehlmann said their study only accounted for a half-percent increase per year. St. Charles County had a three percent increase last year and continues to grow.
“We certainly hope that some changes will be made and MoDOT will recognize to get some more capacity out here,” he said.
Ehlmann said St. Charles County is willing to put its own skin into the game as long as MoDOT recognizes the major growth in the county and agrees to get out ahead of some of this growth.