On Hazardous Section of Bottom Road
February 1, 2011
Warren County Coroner Roger Mauzy said enough money has been pledged to install guardrails along a dangerous stretch of Augusta Bottom Road where a Washington teen died last October.
Now he just needs to get a government entity involved to accomplish the project.
Mauzy sought some guidance Monday from the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee.
Earlier this month, Mauzy and family members of Ella J. Neier, 16, Washington, started the campaign to fund guardrails and other safety improvements along a rough gravel section of the road, bordered by a large pond, known as the Augusta Parkway. The section is near where the road changes from pavement in St. Charles County to gravel on the Warren County side.
Neier died after her car ran off the road Oct. 22, 2010, and overturned in the pond.
Mauzy, who responded and pronounced the girl dead at the scene, said he's convinced the crash could have been prevented if guardrails had been in place to keep a vehicle from entering the water.
"MoDOT said if the road is in Warren County, it's Warren County's responsibility," Mauzy said. "They're (commissioners) putting politics ahead of human life. They have the capability to resolve it but they won't.
"I'm going to continue my rampage until the rails go up," he remarked.
An initial rough estimate to install about 3,000 feet of guardrail along the large pond is about $75,000.
"Surprise. All the money has been pledged," Mauzy told the committee.
"Unfortunately, my county commission is uncooperative. The red tape is being flashed," Mauzy said, noting that all the commission would need to do is agree to maintain the guardrail after it's installed, but they have refused.
Washington, Mo., looks at guardrails for Augusta Bottom Road
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
WASHINGTON, Mo. • Making Augusta Bottom Road safer moved a few steps forward Monday.
Members of the Washington Area Highway Transportation Committee passed two measures after family members of Ella Neier, 16, who died in an accident on the road, made pleas for their cooperation.
The committee agreed to ask St. Charles County to put up warning signs on the road where it enters Warren County. In addition, the board requested that the Washington City Council get bids to perform an engineering study on the road to find out if guardrails would make it safer.
A city engineer also announced plans for a new road that would link Washington to St. Charles County, although that fix is in a very early stage.
No part of Augusta Bottom Road is in Washington — it runs through St. Charles and Warren counties — but the section called Augusta Parkway has been maintained by the city since shortly after the Great Flood of 1993.
Efforts to get a guardrail where the road abuts water started shortly after the death of Neier, a student at St. Francis Borgia High School in Washington. She drowned the evening of Oct. 22, after her car plunged into a pond next to the road.
Neier's family has pledges from private donors to cover the estimated $75,000 cost of the guardrail, but those efforts stalled because of questions about who owns the road.
Warren County says the stretch of road where the crash occurred, while within the county boundaries, has been owned by the town of Augusta ever since it rebuilt the segment after flooding in 1993. However, a title search failed to pinpoint the owners, and Augusta's attorney says ownership of the road is unclear. About 700 cars use it daily.
The section in St. Charles County is paved and the lanes are striped, while the portion in Warren County is about 1.7 miles of gravel.
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