Road work begins to add access to schools

Thursday, May 12, 2005

One of two northbound lanes on south Kingshighway will be closed to traffic starting today, weather permitting, as construction proceeds on the Silver Springs Road intersection project, state highway officials said.

Missouri Department of Transportation officials said this will be the first in a series of lane closures that will occur over the next several months on the busy north-south highway as a result of the construction project.

Each of the four traffic lanes will have to be shut down for construction at different periods of time during construction, said Rick Lamb, MoDOT senior construction inspector.

This first lane closure will start at the Interstate 55 exit ramp and extend northward past the Silver Springs intersection, Lamb said.

The $1 million project includes relocating the existing Silver Springs Road intersection 200 feet to the south and the installation of traffic signals at the intersection.

Cape Girardeau city officials and public school officials in recent years had lobbied MoDOT to construct a new Silver Springs Road intersection with traffic signals. Officials with the Cape Girardeau School District have been eager for the project, saying it would provide an additional route to and from Central High School and the Career and Technology Center, located a short distance to the west of Kingshighway.

Lappe Cement Finishing Inc. of Perryville, Mo., is the contractor on the project, which is being funded by MoDOT and the city of Cape Girardeau. The contract was awarded in February and construction work commenced within the last several weeks, Lamb said.

MoDOT officials urged motorists to slow down and obey the signs in the work zone on the heavily traveled route.

Less congestion

School officials have said the added intersection will eliminate the traffic congestion caused by students having only a single route to take to the new high school and the vocational school. Silver Springs Road currently dead ends just past the Career and Technology Center.

MoDOT officials said traffic should continue to flow in both directions on South Kingshighway throughout the construction project.

Kingshighway, which is a state highway, handles 13,511 vehicles a day through the Southern Expressway intersection a short distance north of where the intersection work is occurring, according to a recent traffic count done by MoDOT. The study, conducted last September, counted 6,822 northbound vehicles and 6,689 southbound vehicles.

mbliss@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 123

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