Maryland Heights Residents for Responsible Growth, is hosting a public event with MoDOT and the City of Maryland Heights on the reconstruction of the I-270 interchanges at Dorsett Road and Page Avenue which begin this month.

Wednesday - February 17, 2010
6:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Presentation and Q&A with MoDOT and City of Maryland Heights Public Works
7:00 -8:00 p.m. - Open Forum with Community

Maryland Heights Community Centre - Auditorium
2344 McKelvey Road
Maryland Heights, MO 63043

This is the first public forum with specific details and timelines on this two-year construction project. The project will start on I-270 and Dorsett Road the first year, then move to Page Avenue interchange in 2011. The project is expected to take two years. MoDOT will also be showing the public the animated driving sequences on the "divergent diamond" design on Dorsett at the I-270 interchange.
There will also be a major, parallel Maryland Heights city project moving Prospect Parkway away from the rebuilt Dorsett interchange which will place the finished road further east on Dorsett. It will relocate the road on the north side of Dorsett past Syberg's and cross to the south-side of Dorsett just east of the Drury Inn. The south-side construction will feature a "jug-handle" design and is designed to assist with traffice congestion from the newly expanded Edward Jones campus as well as funnel traffic in and out of the Westport area. 

180,000 cars a day travel on I-270 through Maryland Heights every day and this is going to cause big disruptions for both local traffic in Maryland Heights, Westport and Creve Couer as well as those who are just traveling through the area on I-270 from Page Ave. to I-70. There will be lane detours and reduced lanes as they completely rebuild the bridges/interchanges.

Please come and join the discussion!
Based on sheer numbers, I think you’d have to call the Feb. 11 planning meeting held by the Maryland Heights Planning Department a success.  Almost 100 people attended the meeting at Maryland Heights Community Centre to discuss possible development options for a 40-acre tract of land at the northwest corner of I-270 and Page Ave.

For those who missed it, here is a short summary:

Under Discussion:  What are the best uses of a 40-acre parcel of land at the northwest corner of I-270 and Page Ave.?  Let’s be clear, this is not solely the decision of the city or residents.  In large part, it is up to the future buyer of this property, but both the city and residents will have a say.  In the eventuality that a developer is found, what would we say to a proposal?  That’s the point of a planning discussion.

Major Ideas: 

·         Use the land for updated residential housing, including apartments, condos
       or a retirement community.

·         Encourage small, independent businesses to serve the surrounding

·         Develop a park area.

·         Offer family-friendly venues and activities.

·         Create a gathering place (think: fountain, town square).

·         Make it pedestrian and bike friendly.

·         Have a community shuttle that connects different parts of the city, for visitor
        and residents alike.

·         Increase access to the area with tunnels or bridges to cross I-270 to Westport
        or Page Avenue to Creve Coeur.

Out of Favor:  Large-scale office or hotel (lack of demand regionally).  Big box retailers, which might threaten existing business in MH, such as those in the Dorsett/McKelvey area or Westport Plaza.  (A mix of independent and smaller chains was seen as a plus.)

Mixed Reaction:  Some considered MetroLink an essential or inevitable benefit, improving residential and business life in MH.  Others expressed such a lack of faith in Metro’s management they wouldn’t even entertain the possibility of MetroLink.  The pro-Metro audience held a slight majority in the room. 

Major concerns: 

·         Traffic access to the parcel is problematic to begin with, and development
        would bring problems with greater traffic volume.

·         Business development in this area might cannibalize business activity
       elsewhere in MH.

·         Lost habitat.  Many people appreciate the wildlife living in the undeveloped

A successful discussion occurred because so many people showed up.  Thanks to you, we have a prayer of influencing how our future unfolds.  The city has promised a follow-up meeting, next time asking residents to get more specific about appropriate land use for that parcel.  Come join the discussion.