Public meeting to offer look at Lewis and Clark Parkway plans

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Curious people will get a chance to see the latest version of a proposed link from Cape Girardeau to Interstate 55's new Exit 102.

A public meeting is scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Osage Community Centre, 1625 N. Kingshighway.

People can look at the maps and ask questions of officials present, said Kelly Green, engineer for the city of Cape Girardeau.

"It's an open forum, nothing formal," she said.

It's the city's second meeting for the public to look at a preliminary alignment of the proposed road.

Lewis and Clark Parkway will follow a route between the proposed LaSalle Avenue (which takes drivers to I-55's Exit 102), and goes south to the intersection of county roads 618 and 620. Koehler Engineering and Land Surveying drafted the Lewis and Clark Parkway design.

Since the city unveiled the design, some changes have been made.

"The only difference is, the university looked at some of the alignments and asked us to shift the road over to the west more," Green said.

She said the move improved the way Lewis and Clark ties into County Road 618.

She said suggestions from the public are vital to the design process.

"A lot of times, we get so concentrated on this one little section and someone can look at it from a different view or see a bigger picture," she said. "Do we always implement suggestions? No. There are reasons for that. But we definitely like to hear from people."

In addition to an open forum, visitors Thursday can fill out comment sheets and return them to the city within two weeks.

Personal invitations were sent to property owners along the route.

Green said a start date for construction would not be set until the designs are finalized later this year.

"Then we have to get all the right-of-way acquisitions," she said. Those properties won't be finalized until the design is approved.

Chris Koehler, president of Koehler Engineering and Land Surveying, will be present to answer questions.

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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