JACKSON -- One of Jackson's busiest intersections will be shut down soon as construction workers begin improvements designed to improve traffic flow.
Work on Shawnee Boulevard from Old Cape Road to East Jackson Boulevard will begin June 16 and will be closed until July 3. At that time, the road should be reopened, but the city is allowing Kluesner Concreters of Scott City up to 21 calendar days for the closure of the street.
The section of streets is one of the city's sore spots as far as traffic flow. It was identified as a "critical location" in the city's comprehensive traffic study adopted in January by the city council, and the council set plans in motion for the $96,000 project even before the study was adopted.
A four-way stop at the Old Cape Road intersection is the source of the problem. It is just a short block from East Jackson Boulevard, which also is known as U.S. 61 and Business 55, easily the most traveled artery in Jackson.
The four-way stop at Shawnee and Old Cape Road clogs up traffic on Shawnee and causes traffic to spill back on the highway, particularly during rush hours. A short light also causes traffic to back up on Shawnee, an exit route for a large residential section of the city.
In attempt to improve traffic flow, the city has decided to do two things to the intersection. First, it will add a left-turn lane to Shawnee to provide dual left-turn lanes for eastbound traffic onto East Jackson Boulevard. It will also remove the stop signs on Shawnee at the four-way stop at Old Cape Road.