Cape, Jackson officials discuss interchange project at joint meeting

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

For 11 years the Cape Girardeau City Council and Jackson Board of Aldermen have met annually because, well, that's what good neighbors do. "It's always been a slogan of mine that what benefits Cape benefits Jackson and what benefits Jackson benefits Cape," said Jackson Mayor Paul Sander at Monday's joint meeting at the Osage Community Centre.

It seems to be working. One yardstick to measure growing communities is commercial and residential development. In 2006, Cape Girardeau recorded the second highest expenditures on construction in its history. Its total of $75.7 million of construction went toward 101 single-family homes, 54 apartment units, 25 commercial buildings and 98 additions or remodeling projects of commercial buildings.

Jackson also had a banner year of development. It recorded the highest number of building permits granted in its history. Construction costs totaled $32.7 million in the city, also a record. Sander called it "really an unbelievable amount of growth."

One project that promises to spur growth is being tackled by the Missouri Department of Transportation. Andy Meyer of MoDOT updated the group on the East Main Street/LaSalle Avenue/I-55 Interchange project near where the two cities meet. Meyer said work is about to kick into high gear.

"This is the time of year I get excited because this is the time of year that construction really gets going," said Meyer.

Utility relocations are nearly complete in the area and crews are clearing away trees around the "footprint" of what will be the east and west approaches of the $8 million interchange. After that, Meyer said, grading work can begin in earnest.

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