MoDOT, public to discuss I-55 traffic study

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

People in the Scott City and Cape Girardeau area interested in seeing the findings of MoDOT's recent Interstate 55 traffic study for themselves will have their chance with two open house meetings this week.

And those at the Scott City meeting are being encouraged to ask questions about some major work planned in their area -- the Ramsey Creek Bridge project.

Missouri Department of Transportation personnel will be on hand from 3:30 to 6 p.m. today at the Scott City High School cafeteria and the same time Thursday at the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center.

The meetings' official purpose is informational -- to give members of the public facts about the agency's study of I-55 between Scott City and Fruitland that was completed in draft form this spring. That study found that I-55 between Fruitland and Scott City is suited to accommodate traffic growth for the next 20 years except for the area between Highway 74 in Cape Girardeau and Scott City's interchange, MoDOT project manager Eric Krapf reported in June.

MoDOT's central office is still reviewing the study's findings before they're sent to the Federal Highway Administration, Krapf said.

However, there should be no changes to the study's findings, he said.

"We wanted to have an opportunity to get out and share what we found with the public and see if they have any ideas and suggestions they want to talk about," Krapf said of this week's meetings, primarily the Cape Girardeau meeting. Krapf said MoDOT has heard little input from Cape Girardeau on the study and its findings.

Tonight's Scott City meeting has another purpose in addition to discussing the traffic study, Krapf said.

"At Scott City we're going to try to use the meeting also as an opportunity to talk to the public about Ramsey Creek," Krapf said.

The Ramsey Creek project involves the extension of Scott City's outer road east of I-55 -- construction that would open up acres of empty ground to commercial and residential development.

Funding for the project has been secured, but MoDOT is currently waiting for the federal government to determine how intensive an environmental review the project requires before it can proceed, Krapf said.

MoDOT personnel will also discuss the idea of installing a new I-55 interchange south of Scott City at tonight's meeting, Krapf said.

Scott City Mayor Tim Porch said he expects some interest in tonight's meeting because Ramsey Creek is a controversial subject among locals who want to know if the construction will affect their property. Porch said he'll also attend the meeting with his own questions for MoDOT.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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