Franklin County and MDC reach agreement to resurface St. Mary’s Road

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FRANKLIN Co., Mo.—The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Franklin County Commission have reached an agreement to resurface St. Mary’s Road.   The road is the only entry to Chouteau Claim Access, that is owned and maintained by MDC. Chouteau Claim is located at the confluence of the Bourbeuse and Meramec Rivers in Franklin County. St. Mary’s Road is owned and maintained by Franklin County.

The arrangement to resurface St. Mary’s Road will enable the public to continue using Chouteau Claim River Access. More than 40 Franklin County citizens called for keeping the road open to facilitate continued access to Chouteau Claim at a county commission meeting in January.

“I want to thank MDC for partnering with the county to improve the road to the access. The input from the public let the County and MDC know how important the road and access are to the area,” said Franklin County Commissioner David Hinson.

Franklin County will utilize MDC’s County Aid Road Trust Program (CART). CART is a cost-share program with counties and townships administered by MDC to help with applying maintenance rock on county roadways enrolled in the program. While maintaining public roadways is primarily the responsibility of the jurisdiction owning the roadway, MDC may provide CART funds if these roadways directly enable public use of conservation areas, facilities, or river accesses. For the Chouteau Claim Access, MDC’s CART funds will pay for the asphalt and topping rock, approximately $21, 000, and Franklin County will cover the base rock and labor.

MDC and the county have agreed to modify the typical CART parameters to allow for the use of a chip and seal process for approximately one mile of St. Mary’s Road.

“I think it’s a positive for the county, MDC and the public,” said MDC Regional Infrastructure Maintenance Supervisor Mike Norris. “It’s a good example of state and counties working together to come up with a solution to benefit the public.” Norris pointed out that MDC was able to adapt its existing CART program to fit the needs of Franklin County.

This process involves laying down a layer of up to one-inch diameter base rock, followed by a coat of liquid asphalt. Onto this is applied a finer, dust-free topping rock, which is then worked into the asphalt with a roller. The chip and seal procedure produces a surface that has greater resistance to wear from erosion and vehicle traffic. It also reduces long term maintenance costs because it does not require frequent grading and makes spot repairs of potholes much easier.

The county has yet to schedule the project, but it could be completed within a day when weather conditions permit, which include a period of warmer temperatures and dry weather.

Counties wanting to explore the possibility of enrolling roads with conservation areas or access in the CART program should contact 573-522-4115, ext. 3722, or email All requests for cost share through CART are reviewed to verify the area has significant impact on the roadway to determine if funding is appropriate.