Street smarts

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Back when voters approved the first Transportation Trust Fund in 1995, the city of Cape Girardeau planned to finish one street improvement project before starting the next one. But there were so many projects -- 18 -- and the process of acquiring right of way and satisfying state regulations was so time consuming that the city had to juggle many projects at once.

The beginning of the Independence Street widening project last week signals the start of the last of the TTF projects funded by a half-cent transportation sales tax that expired in 2000. But more projects -- the planning for widening Broadway, for example -- are underway under TTF 2, which was created when voters extended the sales tax for another five years in 2000.

The redesigned Silver Springs Road-Kingshighway intersection scheduled for construction later this year and the widening of Independence from Kingshighway to Pacific Street are among 13 TTF 2 projects totaling $20.6 million to come.

The Planning and Zoning Commission is reviewing possible transportation projects to be considered for funding in a possible third TTF package of projects when TTF 2 expires next year.

TTF is a pay-as-you-go system that has worked well to improve the streets of Cape Girardeau.

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