MoDOT explains Highway 34/72 widening in Jackson

Friday, March 15, 2002

Business Today

JACKSON -- A year ago the Missouri Department of Transportation announced a change of plans for widening Highway 34/72 through Jackson. Thos plans were explained in detail by MoDOT officials Feb. 28 at a public meeting.

The $16 million project will widen Highway 34/72 through Jackson from two lanes to four lanes separated by a landscaped median. Signalized intersections will provide the opportunities to turn left or make a U-turn along the route.

The work will be conducted in three phases working west from the intersection Highway 25 and Highway 34/72.

MoDOT officials stood before maps and aerial photos of the route to explain the project to visitors. About 125 had signed in an hour into the meeting.

Scott Meyer, district engineer, said most questions and complaints focused on changing the project from five lanes to four.

Eric Krapf, MoDOT's project manager, said left-turning traffic into the Rhodes 101 backs up. He cited the MoDOT statistic that limited left turns on an arterial road such as Highway 34/72 has been shown to reduce accidents up to 25 percent and to decrease the severity of accidents that do occur.

"This is the safest thing we can do," he said.

MoDOT will begin buying 29 pieces of property along the route later this year as the first phase of the project from the Highway 25/34/72 intersection. MoDOT also will buy right of way or frontage from another 131 owners.

Construction of the first phase is scheduled for the winter of 2003-2004, with Phase 2 construction to begin the following year.

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