Future growth

With the construction of a new Interstate 55 interchange between Cape Girardeau and Jackson about to begin, both cities are likely to see a period of increased development in that direction. For Cape Girardeau, expanding north is just about its only option, since it is pretty much landlocked on all other sides.

For several years Cape Girardeau has had a pro-active stance on future annexation. It has extended water and sewer lines to developments outside the city limits in exchange for an agreement that those areas will be annexed sometime in the future without having to go through a lengthy legal battle.

That policy has been a win-win situation for both the city and for residents of those new developments. As a result, Cape Girardeau's city limits will be expanding to the north just as the new interchange is being completed, complete with outer roads and new access roads to and from the interchange.

Cape Girardeau's population has been hovering in the mid-30,000 range for more than two decades. With annexation, the city's population should show significant increases to reflect the many housing developments in the county outside the city limits.

With increased population comes certain advantages, but one important aspect is being recognized as a growing city. Those areas where growth is steady -- and orderly -- are the ones that attract new businesses and industries, which result in better jobs and a better standard of living for both new and existing residents.