MoDOT - Take shuttle to dedication of new bridge

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

For those planning on driving to Saturday's bridge dedication, everyone involved in organizing the event has this advice: Don't do it.

Instead, they are pleading with people to take the shuttle.

"We can't stress that enough," said Angie Wilson, the Missouri Department of Transportation's public information manager.

Starting at 7:30 a.m., nine full-size school buses will begin shuttling people back and forth from three spots in Cape Girardeau to the dedication of the new $100 million Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge.

The shuttles will run continuously from the Show Me Center, the Shawnee Park Sports Complex and RM COCO at 1389 Southern Expressway until 1:30 p.m.

Wilson said she expects more than 2,000 people from throughout the region to attend the dedication that will take place from the deck of the new bridge beginning at 9 a.m. For those in Illinois, two vans will take people from the Purple Crackle to the Missouri side of the bridge, Wilson said. Riding is free.

Capt. Carl Kinnison with the Cape Girardeau Police Department said the shuttles are a good idea because there will be next to no parking anywhere near the bridge.

Several streets will be blocked off, he said. Those are:

The east side of Middle Street from Morgan Oak to College.

The east side of Frederick from Morgan Oak to College.

All of College Street from Asher to Frederick.

All of Asher from Morgan Oak to College.

Even for those lucky enough to find parking spots, there will still be a good deal of walking required, Kinnison said.

"If you park on Middle, you'd still have to walk down Sprigg Street and over and then down Highway 74," he said. "Even in the closest spots, you're looking at half a mile to a mile walk."

People shouldn't ignore the no parking zones, Kinnison said. There will be about 35 uniformed officers patrolling the area who will write tickets.

"And if it presents a hazard, it will be towed," Kinnison said.

Some people said they already were planning to follow the advice. Jeannie Cook of Goreville, Ill., said she will use the shuttle. She's bringing her Cub Scout pack of about a dozen youngsters and their parents to see the dedication.

"We're glad that they're having the shuttles because it was going to be hard to make arrangements," she said.

335-6611, extension 137

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