Cape council receives recommendations for road repair

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Cape Girardeau would benefit from $20.3 million in new and improved roads if voters extend the half-cent transportation sales tax, planning and zoning commission representatives told the city council Monday night.

The formal presentation included a list of nine road projects in addition to the paving of existing streets and building and repairing sidewalks over a five-year period, beginning in 2006 and ending in 2010.

Mayor Jay Knudtson said the council will review the recommended road plan. The council must take initial action by April 18 in order to put the tax extension measure on the Aug. 2 ballot, said planning and zoning commission chairman Skip Smallwood.

Voters first approved the tax in August 1995 and extended the tax for another five years in August 2000.

Knudtson said the process has worked well with specific projects tied to each tax measure.

"Citizens will know exactly what streets will be improved and when they will be improved," the mayor said.

The latest transportation plan includes nine specific projects:

* Widening sections of Mount Auburn Road between Independence Street and Kingshighway and installing traffic signals at Hopper Road.

* Widening Bloomfield Road westward from Stonebridge Drive to the Benton Hill Road intersection.

* Constructing a new street from Siemers Drive at Armstrong Drive to Route K.

* Widening sections of Sprigg Street from Shawnee Parkway to William Street and improving the Morgan Oak Street and William Street intersection.

* Improving Big Bend Road and parts of Main Street. The project includes improvements to the Bertling Hill area and realignment of the Cape Rock Drive intersection.

* Construction of Vantage Drive from Kingshighway south to the Ashland Court Subdivision.

* Improvements to the Kingshighway/Cape Rock Drive intersection.

* Construction of Coker Road from Interstate 55 to Route W.

* Extension of Fountain Street from Morgan Oak Street to William Street.

Three other projects also are proposed, if funding is available. They are the widening of New Madrid Street from Perry Avenue to Clark Avenue and improvements to two sections of West End Boulevard, from Bloomfield to Shawnee Parkway and Rose Street to New Madrid Street.

Smallwood and planning member Harry Rediger said the commission didn't prioritize the nine road projects.

While the Fountain Street project is listed last on the list presented to the council, Rediger said the proposed extension would be an important avenue to and from the downtown area and would spark more development in that neighborhood.

Rediger said a committee of the planning commission spent more than a year developing the transportation plan and calculating what the tax could fund. "There was a lot of number crunching," he told the council.

mbliss@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 123

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