Interstate 66 meeting set for Monday

Saturday, August 17, 2002

SIKESTON, Mo. -- The proposed Interstate 66 project will be discussed at a public meeting Monday at the Missouri Department of Transportation office in Sikeston.

Missouri and Kentucky highway officials will be on hand to discuss the possible project.

"We are really looking for people to come and say what route makes sense to them," said Scott Meyer, MoDOT district engineer in Sikeston.

The meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at 2675 N. Main St. in Sikeston. It will be an open-house format that will allow participants to ask questions of highway officials.

I-66 is a proposed cross-country highway that did not pass the cost-benefit ratio when studied by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1991. But 13 of the states the highway would cross were encouraged by the department to show how the federal government could participate in the construction of the project.

Kentucky has embarked on a $500,000 study to determine the best route for I-66 through western Kentucky. MoDOT is providing $50,000 and may pay as much $100,000 toward the study.

Cape Girardeau civic leaders want the highway routed across the new Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge once it is completed. Civic leaders argue that the area has long needed a four-lane, east-west highway.

Charleston, Mo., civic leaders have lobbied for construction of a new bridge over the Mississippi River south of Wickliffe, Ky., as part of an I-66 project. They say a toll bridge might be feasible.

Meyer said the feasibility study is still under way and no specific route has been drawn up.

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