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Opinion: Cape-Jackson bypass not on MoDOT list

Monday, March 21, 2005

If you have a question, e-mail factorfiction@semissourian.com or call Speak Out (334-5111) and identify your call as a question for "Fact or fiction?"

Q: I heard a rumor that Cape Girardeau and Jackson were talking about a bypass route connecting Jackson to Highway 74. Does anyone have any more information they would like to share?

A: "We did a study in the late 1990s that looked at all the different roads coming into the Cape-Jackson area. At that time, all the different alternatives were looked at, including a new West 74," said Scott Meyer, Missouri Department of Transportation engineer for this region.

"One alternative that Cape officials were interested in was tying Highway 74 back into Route K, which they thought could give relief to the Route K Interchange. Our consultants looked at that but determined it wouldn't take enough traffic off the interchange to keep us from rebuilding the interchange in the future anyway," Meyer said. "So we determined it wasn't worth the state's money to build a bypass.

"If the local area wants to build it, they can do it," Meyer said. "But MoDOT has no current plans. Our position is that it is a local issue."

Regarding local plans, Jackson Mayor Paul Sander said, "There have been no recent discussions that Jackson has been involved in concerning this issue. It would have to be studied and, if feasible, put on a priority list. Cape Girardeau and Cape Girardeau County would also have to be on board."

"I am not aware of anything concerning a bypass," said Cape Girardeau city manager Doug Leslie. "That was a study from a long time ago."

Q: What type of health-care coverage do the Cape Girardeau County elected officeholders have?

A: "Cape Girardeau County elected officials have the same health, dental and vision coverage as all county employees who work full-time," said Cape Girardeau County Clerk Rodney Miller. "Blue Cross-Blue Shield health and prescription with a $1,000 deductible and 80-20 co-pay. Dental plan is with Guardian and includes 100 percent coverage on preventive services, 80 percent on basic services and 50 percent on major services. The vision plan is with Brokers National (VSP) and requires a $10 co-pay for an examination every 12 months and $50 co-pay on materials every 24 months. An employee's family, spouse or children may be added at the employee cost."

Q: Is it true that there is an image of a Southeast Missourian newspaper hidden somewhere in the new floodwall murals?

A: Yes, it's true. Artist Thomas Melvin painted a newspaper into the design of one of the murals. I won't tell you which one, however. That's your challenge to find. Good luck.

Q: How do I determine what ward I live in here in Cape?

A: The quickest way is to call the city manager's office: 334-1212. You may also visit www.cityofcapegirardeau.org/depts/counci.... This is a good time to double check, if you are not sure. An election for council representation in two of the wards will take place April 5.

Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian. E-mail him at jrust@semissourian.com.


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Jon K. Rust
Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian and co-president of Rust Communications. He serves on the board of directors for the Associated Press. A native of Cape Girardeau, he has lived and worked in New York City, Boston, San Francisco and Moscow, Russia.