Missouri Highways and Transportation Committee awards project contracts

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Committee awarded contracts Tuesday for new traffic signals in Jackson and improvements to Highway 72 in Patton.

In a cost-share project with the city of Jackson, traffic signals will be built at the Route D and Farmington Road intersection. The $92,181 contract was awarded to Cotner Electric Co. in Cape Girardeau.

The signals were estimated to cost more than $120,000 but bids were lower, said Larry Koenig, assistant city administrator in Jackson. The city was required to deposit half of the funding for the signals when the costs were originally estimated. The Missouri Department of Transportation picked up the other half of costs.

Since the bids were under estimated costs, Jackson will receive a $17,000 refund from the project.

There are currently no signals at the intersection, but they are a much-needed safety item, said Darius Dowdy, resident engineer for MoDOT. The intersection is a mile west of the Route D and U.S. 61 intersection.

"We've planned so the installation doesn't interfere with school," Dowdy said.

Work is expected to start in June and wrap up prior to the start of next school year.

Dowdy said there should be little impact to traffic but motorists are urged to use caution in the area.

A $1.5 million contract was awarded to Joe's Bridge and Grading, Inc. in Poplar Bluff for the first phase of improvements to Highway 72 from Fredericktown to Highway 34 in Cape Girardeau County. The project includes intersection improvements and partially re-aligning the road to improve sight distance at the Patton Junction.

MoDOT is planning to remove part of a hill to the west of Patton Junction and fill in a hole to the east to improve sight distance. The work on the first phase is expected to start in February and wrap up this fall.

The Highway 72 improvement project is expected to last several years. MoDOT plans to resurface, widen and paved shoulders to the roadway. The project would also replace some bridges and more intersection improvements.

jfreeze@semissourian.com

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