Traditional Values, Progressive Thinking – June 8, 2016

Mayor Gary Graham

Mayor Gary Graham

The summer construction season is upon us. In O’Fallon, two major improvement projects are scheduled to be completed this summer – one on West Highway 50, and the other at the intersection of Milburn School Road, Fairwood Hills Road and Simmons Road. Both of these projects, when completed, will help decrease the amount of vehicle accidents and vastly improve the traffic congestion that has plagued these areas.

The improvement of West Highway 50, between Castle Acres Drive and Long Drive will consist of intersection and signal improvements on West Highway 50 at the intersections with Castle Acres Drive, Dean Drive and Long Drive, as well as the addition of a right turn lane for westbound traffic from the Sam’s Club entrance at Long Drive to the eastern Wal-Mart entrance. The work is scheduled to be completed by September 15, 2016.

On May 24th, the intersection of Milburn School Road, Simmons Road and Fairwood Hills Road was closed for the construction of a roundabout. The intersection is scheduled to be re-opened no later than August 5, 2016 (before school commences).

These projects, and nearly all projects like them, are usually scheduled in the summertime for two main reasons — to avoid school related traffic and to avoid costly delays due to weather.

O’Fallon has grown quite rapidly. In fact, the community’s population has nearly doubled since 1990 and O’Fallon’s commercial sector has grown just as quickly. With more people, comes more vehicles. Which in turn, causes the need for increased road maintenance, improved intersections, and roads that are better equipped to handle large volumes of traffic. Without the needed improvements, the result would be crumbling roads and unbearable traffic jams.

It’s all about having a positive attitude and embracing the fact that in the end, the construction will be worth it.

I would like to share with you a few safety tips from the Federal Highway Administration on how to remain safe while traveling through construction zones:

   Stay Alert and Minimize Distractions

  • Dedicate your full attention to the roadway.
  • Avoid changing the radio station, using a mobile phone, or eating.
  • Keep Your Headlights On
  • Pay Attention to the Road
  • “Listen to the signs.”
  • Watch brake lights on the vehicle ahead.
  • Watch traffic around you and be prepared to react.

   Don’t Tailgate

  • Follow other vehicles at a safe distance.

Obey the Posted Speed Limit

  • Workers may be present just feet away.
  • Fines may be doubled for moving traffic violations.
  • Be prepared to slow down further if conditions indicate the need.

   Change Lanes Safely

  • Change lanes only where pavement markings indicate, and only when traffic conditions permit
  • Follow Instructions from Flaggers
  • Expect the Unexpected
  • Workers, work vehicles, or equipment may enter your lane without warning.
  • Other vehicles may slow, stop, or change lanes unexpectedly.

We kindly ask our residents to be patient and considerate during these needed improvement projects.

The strong working relationship between City Hall and the residents we serve is yet another example of why O’Fallon is such a great community in which to live.