Independence Street widening begins in Cape

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Business Today

Cape Girardeau city officials broke ground on the Independence Street widening project May 4.

The ceremony marked the start of work on the last of 18 street projects funded with a half-cent transportation sales tax approved by voters in August 1995. Voters five years later extended the tax to Dec. 31, 2005, to fund additional road projects.

The $257,997 Independence Street project is scheduled to be completed by mid-August, city officials said.

The project involves widening Independence Street by 2 to 4 feet from Pacific Street to Sprigg Street. The result will be a 44-foot-wide street with a center left-turn lane at intersections, said Melanie Gertis, assistant city engineer.

The project includes replacement of existing concrete pavement, curbs and sidewalks, milling and asphalt overlay, storm sewers, traffic signal modifications and replacement of a water main.

A key part of the project is improving storm drainage. A dip in the pavement near Pacific Street collects water in heavy rains, creating flash flooding problems.

Lappe Cement Finishing Inc. is the general contractor on the project. Contractor Rusty Lappe said a construction crew began work May 4 on the section of Independence from Pacific Street to Ellis Street. That section of Independence has been closed to traffic to allow construction work to proceed.

The first section of the project could be completed by the end of June, Lappe said. That section of Independence then will be reopened to traffic and the block from Sprigg to Ellis will be closed while road work is done there.

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