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Centralia aldermen discuss Hwy. 22 intersection problems

Posted on Friday, November 10, 2017 at 6:02 am

The Centralia Board of Aldermen was down two Monday night when they convened for the monthly meeting of the public works and public utilities committee.

Aldermen Landon Magley, Ward III and David Wilkins, Ward I were absent.

The intersection of Rt. B and Hwys. 124 and 151 is once again on the Centralia aldermen’s agenda.

The prime subject was a recent meeting between the city and MoDOT regarding the intersection of 22, 151 and 124. Aldermen Landon Magley, Ward III and David Wilkins, Ward I were absent.

It does not have, according to MoDOT’s records it is not high on their safety list and data set and is not high on their priority list,” said City Administrator Matt Harline. “However, he said, “agreeing to share the cost can move it up higher on their list.” He said Centralia was too far into its budget list to do that this year. It is possible to change things next year.

He said MoDOT considered a roundabout was the best solution. The next best, an overpass.

“A traffic signal will not eliminate T-bone accidents and could create different ones, particularly on a bright morning for traffic heading east,” Harline said.

“That would be true,” agreed Ward II’s Robert Hudson.

One of the reasons the intersection is not higher on MoDOT’s list is there are not that many fatality accidents compared to other intersections, said Tim Grenke, Centralia mayor.

He said most accidents that occur there are attributable to two aspects: * lack of familiarity with the intersection and * intersection.

C-68 Ward IIIs Jim Lee said the rumble strips from 124 were worn. “Is there any chance of getting them reworked, they are not very rumbly anymore?” Grenke had no answer to the question.

Harline said he would research cost sharing. But he warned, “If we do cost sharing on this, something else will have to be cut. . . We’re talking a minimum of $200,000.”

Grenke said MoDOT owned sufficient right of way in the area that they would not need more land to put in a 100-foot roundabout.

Ward II’s Don Rodgers suggested an alternating red and yellow traffic light similar to what is used at the highway intersection north of Paris.

Hudson suggested stop signs on Highway 22. Harline said it would cut down serious accidents, but would also considerably slow traffic and perhaps increase rear-end accidents. “Rear ends don’t tend to be as bad as a T-bone,” Hudson said. “If it is going to be a multi-year project, stop signs could be a good short-term fix while the long-term solution is being planned.”

During that meeting, they also discussed a traffic engineering grant to study traffic at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Hwy. 22 as well as Lakeview and Hwy. 124.

Lee said he needed more time to think about the issue.

No action was taken.

Grenke suggested making it a topic for the upcoming board retreat.

In other business, they heard from streets and sanitation foreman Phil Hoffman who introduced quotes regarding grinding limbs, etc. for the brush pit. The issue was tabled.

“We need to get some moisture before winter gets here,” said Mike Forsee, water department foreman. He said the excessively dry ground was causing the ground to shift causing leaks in the water mains. He also said when they dig more than six inches below the surface the soil is excessively dry.

Regarding notifying customers when water mains leak, Harline said he was researching a system that could notify people via phone that could be applied to specific locales. “We absolutely did everything right, disinfecting and everything as far as the DNR is concerned,” Forsee said. “The problem is getting the notice out to people. DNR is fine with what we’ve been doing… The biggest problem is people say, ‘they don’t hear about it.'”

He said the city is seeing a lot of residential leaks right now, and it could get very much worse if it gets extremely cold. “Dry is bad, cold is bad. Dry and cold is really bad, we need some moisture pretty quick.”

They also declared a water department 2006 Chevy Silverado with 108,000 miles as surplus property, to be sold and replaced with a four-wheel drive truck.

Harline announced the city’s national pollutant discard elimination system permit would be renewed. The permit had expired in 2013. Forsee said it was nothing delinquent on Centralia’s side, that the state had been trying to get all municipal sewer systems “on the same page.”

Forsee also announced Randy Adams would be retiring from the water department, Dec. 27 after 14 years with the department, at which time there would be a reception for him that day from 2 to 4 p.m.

Grenke reminded everyone the Avenue of Flags 5-K starts 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11 at the City Cemetery.