Council moves on widening Minnesota Street

Saturday, May 22, 2004

During the school year, Minnesota Avenue is a busy street in front of Jefferson Elementary School. The narrow asphalt street is crowded with school buses, parents picking up and dropping off children and students walking to and from the school.

The traffic situation should improve next school year. The Cape Girardeau City Council in a special meeting Friday awarded a $522,766 contract to Fronabarger Concreters Inc. of Oak Ridge to reconstruct five blocks of Minnesota Avenue from Bloomfield Road to Brink Street.

The asphalt will be removed and a new 30-foot, concrete pavement will be constructed. The street will have curb and gutters and 5-foot-wide sidewalks on both sides of the street, as well as storm drainage improvements and concrete entrances to the driveways of homes that border the street.

The existing street is 22 feet to 24 feet wide and has no curb or gutters, city officials said. In addition, there is no sidewalk on the west side of the street and the only sidewalk on the east side is in front of the school.

Fronabarger was the low bidder on the project. The bid was well below the engineer's estimate of $666,695.

The council held the meeting so construction can get underway sooner because its next meeting isn't until June 7.

The project, which will be funded with motor fuel tax money, has been in the city's capital improvements plan since 1998.

In other action, the council: Authorized an agreement with the River Heritage Mural Association regarding a federal grant of $173,968 for painting of a mural on the downtown floodwall. The project is underway.

Accepted a report from the Cape Girardeau Ethics Commission dismissing an ethical complaint against Planning and Zoning Commission member Bob Blank. The report said Blank didn't use his advisory board position for financial gain.

335-6611, extension 123

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