Cape Girardeau drivers dreading at least eight more weeks of detours around Independence Street at Mount Auburn Road got a pleasant surprise Friday.
The intersection was open to traffic in all directions.
Melanie Gertis, assistant city engineer, said contractor Lappe Cement Finishing of Perryville, Mo., picked up the pace because company officials realized how vital that intersection is to traffic flow. The project began July 17.
One northbound and one southbound lane of Mount Auburn were open the whole time, but drivers couldn't turn onto or off of Independence. A detour sign at Silver Springs Road warded away all but local traffic.
Some business representatives along that stretch said they feared the project would be a hardship for customers.
Nichole Fuehne, night manager of Just Kids day care on Independence, noted the intersection was open on her way to work.
"They had taken the detour signs down," she said. "Some of the parents had been complaining about having to go all the way around. This is a lot better for them."
More to do
Although traffic is moving through the intersection, there's more to do on the project, Gertis said. In the end, it will be a lighted intersection with designated right turn lanes.
"They have until October," Gertis said. "If the western part goes as well as the eastern, I anticipate completion before that date."
The project is being funded by the city's half-cent transportation sales tax renewed by voters in August 2000. The intersection work is part of a $377,579 widening project on Mount Auburn Road, one of the city's primary north-south corridors.
335-6611, extension 121