Plans to reconstruct a road on the edge of Lindenwood’s campus will force faculty and students to find another way to classes for more than a year.
The city will redo the section of Droste Road between Charbo Street and S. Duchesne Drive to improve the quality of the road and address safety hazards for drivers. Construction is projected to begin October 2016.
A section of Lindenwood housing sits along the one-third-mile stretch and will experience major renovations as part of the project. The driveways on these properties will be removed, and parking spaces will be added to their backyards.
Alleys also will be placed between the homes on Droste and Anneric Street to access the spots.
Click and slide the white line back and forth to see a current ariel photo of Droste road between Charbo St. and Patma St. in comparison to the city’s proposed plans for this section of the road.
Graphic by Phil Brahm
City Project Manager Matt Seggerman said the decision was made so that students can leave their homes without backing out of their driveways into oncoming traffic.
“It definitely is traffic-calming and safer, moving the parking for these houses to the backside,” Seggerman said. “Lindenwood was very appreciative.”
The Department of Public Works will continue to work with the university as the planning process comes to its end and when construction begins.
“We are going to work with Lindenwood to see what our working hours can be, and we will just be working in the backyards,” Seggerman said. “We won’t be affecting [students’] normal business; there will just be some construction noise for a little bit.”
With Lindenwood listed as the property owner of the 42 student-occupied homes affected by the construction, the university has been the city’s primary contact throughout the planning process. Students who live in these homes have yet to be contacted by either the city or LU, leaving them unaware of the project.
Lindenwood senior Kalyn Newton, who lives in a campus house along Anneric, knew nothing about the plans until she read a post on social media.
While she is not bothered by the idea of losing a portion of her backyard, she said she is concerned that the university chose to handle the manner themselves and not seek the input of students who live in the construction area.
“It would be nice if Lindenwood were to ask our opinions on projects before going on with them,” Newton said. “It would especially be nice if they would at least mention it to those it directly affects.
“I am fine with the idea of the parking lot between the houses on Droste and Anneric, but I hope they send us some sort of notice that it is going to be happening before it does.”
Cynthia Besselman, wife of city councilman Tom Besselman, and owner of Renewed Treasures, a thrift shop located on Droste, is looking forward to the new look of the road.
“Any project that would improve the streets of St. Charles and put our tax dollars to good use is great,” Besselman said.
Renewed Treasures, along with 14 other stores will experience several segments of the road closed throughout the duration of the project, but the city has said it plans to leave at least one lane open at all times.
Despite the construction, Besselman feels confident her business will not be heavily affected.
“Before, there was a bit of a work project outside our store where they worked on the road and it didn’t stop our customers at all,” Besselman said. “We have faithful customers; they will find a way.”
Dragging your cursor over this image of the city’s plans will cause a series of red circles to appear. Moving the cursor over the circles will cause a brief description of the feature to appear.
Grpahic by Phil Brahm
The project also will improve the existing sidewalk to a 10-foot wide shared-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists, and the overhead utilities will be buried. In addition, the northbound lanes of the road will be realigned at the intersection of Droste and Duchesne.
According to the city’s website, the project’s estimated cost reaches almost $5 million and is expected to be completed by December 2017.