The road in front of the Barnhart Post Office

The road in front of the Barnhart Post Office has been taken into Jefferson County’s maintenance system. 

A long-standing problem in Barnhart has been solved.

Marriott Lane from Metropolitan Boulevard to Catlin Drive has been repaired and taken into the county’s maintenance system.

Public Works Director Jason Jonas said Marriott Lane previously was a private street owned by David and Glenna Mangelsdorf and had been in terrible shape for years.

“It used to be a really torn-up road, a lot of potholes,” he said.

David Mangelsorf is chief executive officer of Home Service Oil Co. of Barnhart, which owns a convenience store and gas station along the stretch of road.

The Barnhart Post Office, the Harbor Church, a Missouri Department of Transportation materials storage lot and a few other small retail operations are located along the road.

“About 1,000 feet from Metropolitan, about where the St. Joseph Catholic Church athletic fields are, it was gated off and became dirt and gravel,” Jonas said. “It was really nothing the county would ever have interest in taking over.”

Mangelsdorf said the road was a disaster and the dirt and gravel section near the church fields was especially problematic.

“I had to close (that section) down years ago,” he said. “People started dumping their trash, so I closed it off. They just went around the barrier. I got calls from the county to clean up the trash dump, even though it wasn’t necessarily on my land. I cleaned it up anyway, and they kept dumping.”

The repairs to the road are a major benefit for residents of the Parkton subdivision, as Marriott Lane now extends to Catlin Drive, Jonas said.

“This allowed a secondary access for the people in Parkton, and two other subdivisions in back of Parkton,” he said. “We’re talking a total of 770 homes that now have another way in and out. That’s a big win for everyone.”

Jonas said a few months ago, the Mangelsdorfs met with his staff and asked what had to happen for the county to take over Marriott Lane.

“We told them they would have to bring the street up to county standards for us to consider taking it in,” Jonas said. “They would have to pay for those improvements.”

The Mangelsdorfs then submitted to the county an engineering study that included a 26-foot-wide paved street from Metropolitan to Catlin, Jonas said. County staff signed off on the study and told them that when the work was complete, it would qualify to be incorporated into the county’s road system.

The County Council voted unanimously April 25 to accept the road.

Unlike the county’s subdivision street program, in which the county agrees to maintain roads in subdivisions but does not assume ownership, the Mangelsdorfs deeded over Marriott Lane to the county.

Mangelsorf said the improvements, including stormwater and sewer improvements and lighting, cost about $800,000.

He said he hopes to recoup at least a portion of that money through a community improvement district that includes properties along Marriott Lane. The formation of that district was approved by the council in January. The district allows a 1-cent sales tax to be collected from businesses in that district for up to 27 years.

“Right now, this will take care of the interest on the note of the loan for the improvements,” Mangelsdorf said.

Despite the cost, Mangelsdorf said having the road repaired was worth it.

“I grew up in this area,” he said. “I feel very good about it. It’s good for my business (Parkton residents are potential customers for the convenience store), but it’s also good for the community.”

Jonas said Parkton has been a concern for some time because the primary access to the development has been on Catlin Drive off Hwy. M and a bridge over Glaize Creek.

“If that bridge were to fail, it could have been a big problem for those people,” Jonas said.

He said the county has accepted the bridge into its subdivision street maintenance program, so if repairs or replacement are needed, “they’ll be done efficiently under county standards,” he said.

Mangelsdorf said buses from the Windsor C-1 School District are using Marriott as a primary access into Parkton.

“I don’t know why they allowed that subdivision to be built with only one entrance,” he said. “They certainly couldn’t do that today. It just feels very good to do something for the community.”

Councilman Charles Groeteke (District 4, Barnhart), whose district includes the area, said he was happy the problem finally has been solved.

“It’s a great improvement for District 4,” he said. “It’s long overdue. This was one of the first things I was asked to look at when I was first elected 12 years ago. This is a big thing for people in Parkton. And it’s been fixed at no expense to the taxpayers.”