Missouri High Priority Bike/Ped/ADA Projects

Widen Hwy 79 shoulders Old Monroe - Elsberry (Mississippi River Trail) (03NAT0004)


City: Old Monroe - Foley.    Route: Hwy 79    Location: From north outskirts of Old Monroe to Foley, about 16.2 miles

Type: Shoulders

The Hwy 79 shoulder from Old Monroe to Elsberry varies from about 4 feet in width to about two feet to zero feet. Widen it to a consistent 4-5 feet wide minimum. (With this speed & volume of traffic, 6 foot or wider shoulders would be preferred, where possible, but narrower shoulders are definitely helpful as well.) As this route is on a national bicycle route with regular bicycle use, rumble strips should be omitted, especially on any shoulders less than 4 feet wide. If rumble strips are added to shoulders less than 4 feet wide the shoulder becomes unusable for bicycling. Shoulders even just 1-3 feet wide are quite valuable to bicyclists if they do not have a rumble strip.

Hwy 79 is near the St Louis metro area, the only good route between the St Louis metro and the Hannibal area, and part of the Mississippi River Trail national bicycle route. It is a two-lane road with 2-foot paved shoulders in some areas an no shoulders in others. It has between 3500 and 11,000 ADT, with a higher ADT to the south. Most of Hwy 79 is a very attractive and well used bicycle route. The southern portion has wide shoulders. The northern portion has very low traffic counts. The transitional section between Old Monroe and Elsberry, however, is quite difficult/dangerous for bicycling because it has relatively high traffic counts yet little or no shoulder. The Mississippi River Trail through Missouri is potentially very attractive, a good tourist destination, and a great candidate for inclusion in the National Bicycle Route System. However the ~20 mile section of Hwy 79 from old Monroe to Foley and a ~50 mile section of Hwy 61 south of St Louis are narrow two lane roads with high traffic counts, no shoulder, and no alternative route available. These two sections make the entire MRT in Missouri disfunctional and making them more accommodating for bicycling would be a great improvement.

Most of this has a gravel shoulder already, so paving the area that is already prepared would be relatively easy.

Need Potential Significance Cost Readiness Total
85 70 94 71 83 80.53




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