During a discussion of the latest draft street project list for Cape Girardeau, Larry Haertling discovered there's a reason for the cliche about the squeaky wheel.
Haertling and his father developed Twin Lakes subdivision along Hopper Road in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Since then, he told the Cape Girardeau Planning & Zoning Commission last week, he's waited for Lampe Road, also known as County Road 313, to be extended south along the development's western boundary.
After 40 years, he said, he's still waiting. "I'd like to see it in my lifetime," Haertling said. "I don't have 40 years left."
Lampe Road wasn't among 11 funded and three alternate projects listed in the plan. But after Haertling made his pitch -- the only member of the public to ask for a change -- the list now includes 11 funded and four alternate projects.
It wasn't a promise to build the road, but it does indicate some priority.
That's better than being refused, Haertling said Friday as he explained how Twin Lakes was developed. In the beginning, a three-acre lot cost $4,500, he said. Now that Twin Lakes is a mature subdivision, extending Lampe Road is the only way to open up the remaining property for development, Haertling said.
The extension would go along the city's west limit and across unincorporated land to Route K. "Maybe I should have been there five years ago" when the last road list was written, he said.
Cape Girardeau funds major road improvements with a dedicated sales tax. The tax funded the Independence Street reconstruction and the work underway on Mount Auburn Road, for example. First enacted in 1995, the money is deposited in a Transportation Trust Fund, or TTF. Next year's election will be for TTF-4. If approved, the city expects it to raise more than $21 million over five years.
The tax doesn't just pay for new streets -- in each program, about 25 percent of the money is used for repaving existing streets, curb and gutter repairs, sidewalk and trail construction, and street lighting.
The latest plan tries to focus investment in the core of the city, transportation subcommittee chairman Harry Rediger told the commission. The proposal sets aside $7.1 million, or just under half of the money for specific projects, for plans such as rebuilding West End Boulevard south of Bloomfield Road and rebuilding and extending Walnut Street from Sprigg Street to West End Boulevard.
Building roads at the limits of the city -- or outside the limits, in the case of a portion of Lampe Road or Armstrong Drive, a TTF-3 project that runs mainly through unincorporated territory -- targets areas ripe for new development, said Ken Eftink, planning director and assistant city manager. The city's big stick for luring property into voluntary annexation is the street, sewer and water infrastructure, Eftink said.
"What really adds value to that land is having access to water and sewer," he said.
Several projects are included because of the opportunity to share costs. A plan for traffic at Lexington Avenue, Route W and Kingsway Drive shares the expense with the state. Two-thirds of the cost for changes at Broadway and Henderson Avenue will be paid by Southeast Missouri State University, city engineer Kelly Green said.
Haertling wants the Cape Special Road District to help on Lampe Road. Mark Phillips, the district engineer, said that's a possibility but that he can't make a commitment without board approval. When the city rebuilds a county road, the district is relieved of maintenance costs. The city, too, has asked for the district to consider helping, Phillips said.
"We told them we would be willing to listen and I would take it to our next board meeting, both the Lampe Road and the Bloomfield Road projects," Phillips said.
401 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, MO
Cape Girardeau voters will be asked in August 2010 to renew a half-cent sales tax that supports road building and repairs. The vote will be the fourth renewal of the tax, which is set aside in a city Transportation Trust Fund. The city estimates that the tax will bring in a little more than $21 million over five years. The project list is subject to change.
|Project description||estimated cost|
|Bloomfield Road, Benton Hill to White Oaks||$3.14 million|
|Broadway-Henderson Ave. intersection||$73,000|
|Broadway, Pacific to Water||$2.85 million|
|Lexington, Route W, Kingsway intersection||$852,000|
|Veterans Memorial Drive, Scenic to Hopper||$3 million|
|Walnut Street, Sprigg to West End||$1.15 million|
|West End, Southern Expressway to Bloomfield||$2 million|
|West End, Rose to New Madrid||$650,000|
William/Aquamsi/Main Street intersection $181,000
|Expanded paving overlay||$3 million|
|Street, curb and gutter repairs||$1.875 million|
|New sidewalks, downtown sidewalk replacement||$1.3 million|
|Bertling, Sprigg to Perryville Road||$2.5 million|
|Veterans Memorial Drive, County Road 306 to Mid-America property||$4 million|
|West End, New Madrid to Bertling||$1.5 million|
|Lampe Road, Hopper to Route K||$3.55 million|
SOURCE: Cape Girardeau city engineer