State to study roundabout for Route W, Lexington

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Cape Girardeau city officials want to know if a roundabout would ease traffic tie-ups at the intersection of Lexington Avenue and Route W.

City manager Doug Leslie has asked the Missouri Department of Transportation to look at that possibility as well as any other options to improve the intersection.

But Leslie said the city isn't rushing into any construction plans. "It may be several years before anything is done," he said Tuesday.

Scott Meyer, district engineer for MoDOT in Sikeston, said state highway engineers within the next 60 days will study the issue and report back to city staff.

Meyer said a preliminary analysis by his staff suggests that the intersection is too close to the traffic-signaled Kingshighway and Lexington intersection to allow for a roundabout.

Putting a roundabout at the three-way intersection of Route W, Lexington and Kingsway could back up traffic to the Kingshighway intersection, he said.

But Meyer said state highway engineers will take a hard look at the roundabout possibility. "It is a suggestion worth looking at," he said.

The Route W intersection is too close to the Kingshighway-Lexington intersection to have traffic signals, Meyer said.

But Wes Kinsey, who operates My Daddy's Cheesecake on Route W, believes traffic signals ultimately may be the best answer.

Even a four-way stop would be better than the current situation, he said. Motorists on Route W and Kingsway have to stop at stop signs. Lexington traffic has the right of way through the intersection.

There's little traffic on Kingsway, but the traffic on Route W is routinely delayed as motorists wait to turn left onto Lexington Avenue, Kinsey said.

The traffic congestion is largely a problem during morning and afternoon rush hours, and from traffic generated by nearby churches on Sunday, officials said.

"There is a pretty good volume," Meyer said. "It is kind of a peak thing."

Meyer said construction of a right-turn lane on Route W might help lessen the traffic backup.

mbliss@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 123

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