FEMA denies funding for Wesley Road repairs

By WEEK Producer

January 17, 2014 Updated Jan 18, 2014 at 12:29 AM CDT

CREVE COEUR, Ill. -- Wesley Road in Creve Coeur is crumbling. It runs along the Illinois River and years of flooding has caused extreme erosion.

"The road in some areas is gravel and there are potholes," explained Jerry Daughters, a member of the Creve Coeur Village Board. "Every spring, if the river gets high, it will overflow on to the road which deteriorates it worse than it is."

In some stretches there's almost no shoulder to the road before it drops off into the river. There have been past incidents where cars have left the road and people drowned.

The Creve Coeur Village Board wants to repair Wesley Road. They've even hired an engineering firm. But when they applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for funding for the project their request was denied.

"We'll keep trying. Its not going to end. There's got to be somebody besides FEMA (to help)," Daughters said.

Creve Coeur plans to appeal the decision. The village has already secured a grant to put up a guard rail on the road, which provides access to ADM.

Jan Little owns Kuchie's on the Water, a restaurant closest to the most treacherous part of Wesley Road.

"It does affect us, without a doubt," Little said. "We have a very good customer base out of the Pekin area. If people have not been here before unfortunately its not a great first experience for them."

Eventually there will be some form of action because the road is not safe.

"We have to improve the structure of the road. It has to be done or the road will completely wash away," Daughters said.

According to Daughters raising taxes to fund repairs isn't an option. But without a source of revenue this is one road project that's temporarily reached a dead end.