Planning for Cape Girardeau's downtown area continues to focus on making the city's oldest area an attraction that capitalizes on history.
The latest proposals include extending the old-fashioned street lighting that already brightens the downtown area all the way to Morgan Oak Street along Spanish Street.
Another project would make small grants to downtown businesses that upgrade their storefronts in keeping with the historic nature of the area.
And another project would turn the remaining portion of the old Mississippi River bridge into a pedestrian overlook.
All of the projects hinge of obtaining federal matching funds available through the Missouri Department of Transportation. These are funds that are limited to beautification projects, and the money can't be spent for other transportation-related needs.
The area between downtown and the new River Campus that Southeast Missouri State University is constructing for its school for the visual and performing arts is destined to become a Cape Girardeau centerpiece. Organizations like Old Town Cape, whose mission is to capitalize on the city's past, are to be credited for their ideas and hard work to turn those ideas into reality.