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Officials to break ground on new Scott City road connection Friday
Scott City residents will have a second access to Interstate 55 now that work has started on a new outer road across Ramsey Creek, from Main Street to Route AB.
The Missouri Department of Transportation will hold an official groundbreaking ceremony for the project at 4 p.m. Friday in front of William Nobbe & Co., where the existing outer road ends.
Grading work is already underway to extend the existing outer road across Ramsey Creek to tie into Mulberry Street in Scott City.
The existing outer road will be resurfaced and a new traffic signal will be installed where it intersects Route AB, said Eric Krapf, project manager.
When it's completed in 2012, the new outer road will provide a direct route out of the city to the north.
The $4.3 million construction project was awarded to R.L. Persons Construction Inc. of Poplar Bluff, Mo.
Congestion problems at the intersection of Main Street, U.S. 61 and I-55, date back to the 1970s, said Scott City city administrator Ron Eskew.
"Traffic counts show more than 10,000 cars a day trying to go through that tight bottleneck," Eskew said. "If we have an accident, it backs up traffic one and a half or two miles down Main Street."
Having Scott City's schools near I-55 also adds to the traffic problems.
"The majority of people in town are trying to get to the school in the morning before they head to work," he said.
Eskew said the new outer road will alleviate the congestion and also provide an alternate route in emergencies.
The city has been lobbying for the project since 2004, he said.
"In the future we would like to extend the new outer road south of town to create a business loop that would tie it back into I-55," Eskew said.
The city doesn't have any funding for this project at this time, but officials hope it can be secured in the future.
1400 E. Outer Road North, Scott City, MO