MoDOT holds open-house meeting for discussion of highway project

Friday, February 9, 2007

Motorists will drive along a smoother, wider and straighter Highway 72 from Fredericktown, Mo., to Jackson by 2010, Missouri highway officials say.

The state will spend an estimated $30 million to $32 million to improve the 38 miles of highway, said Jeff Wachter, Missouri Transportation Department project designer. The project involves widening and resurfacing the highway and paving road shoulders as well as some bridge improvements.

MoDOT will hold a public meeting from 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Millersville Baptist Church at the corner of 531 Market St. and Highway 72 at Millersville to discuss the final phase of the project, resurfacing the highway and paving road shoulders from the Cape Girardeau County line to Highway 34 in Jackson.

The meeting will be conducted in an open-house format. Interested area residents will be able to visit one-on-one with MoDOT project staff, said project manager Tim Richmond. "At this meeting, we hope to get feedback on the preliminary plans," he said.

Improvements from Fredericktown to Patton, Mo., are under construction. A new bridge has been constructed over the Castor River in Madison County that will connect to a new section of roadway as part of realignment of a stretch of the highway, Wachter said.

Construction on the route from Fredericktown to Patton could be completed by the end of the year, he said.

MoDOT officials hope to award a single contract this fall to improve the highway from Patton to Jackson, a distance of 20 miles.

"We will have to buy a little bit of right of way in a few locations," Wachter said. "There will be some right of way bought in Millersville." But no buildings will be razed, he said.

The highway improvements from Patton to Jackson could cost an estimated $8 million to $$10 million and be completed by summer 2009, said Wachter.

But the improvements don't include replacing bridges over Whitewater and Byrd creeks. That work will be bid separately in 2008, he said.

Counting the bridge work, all of the improvements to the Highway 72 corridor should be finished by the end of 2009 or early 2010, said Wachter.

335-6611, extension 123

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