MoDOT hearing tonight on Highway 72

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

It isn't unusual for the Missouri Department of Transportation to present a solution to a road problem and have local motorists totally disagree.

Remember the temporary fix to Scott City's complicated Interstate 55 interchange? MoDOT is in the process of promoting another quick fix there.

And then there's Highway 34/72 in Jackson, where residents had to fight one plan only to end up with another they liked only slightly better.

And now the department is turning its attention to Highway 72 between Patton and Fredericktown. Plans are to widen the driving lanes from 11 to 12 feet, add 6-foot shoulders and replace two 80-year-old bridges.

But those who drive the stretch insist that wider isn't necessary better. They would rather have a straighter highway. They complain that the curves are dangerous, there's no place to pass and many get car sick because of all the turns.

MoDOT said the plans include very little straightening. However, the project designer indicated to the Southeast Missourian last week that additional straightening would depend on input.

So tonight is the time for that to happen. MoDOT is having an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Meadow Heights school cafeteria near Patton.

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