JACKSON -- In meetings with Jackson residents Aug. 27, a St. Louis engineering firm laid out 30 long-range projects designed to promote the flow of traffic in the city over the next 20 years. They include a system of circumferential roads designed to take traffic around instead of through residential areas.
"This is the road map for the city's future from our perspective," said Doug Shatto, vice president of Crawford, Bunte, Brammeier.
Jackson is paying the company $100,000 for a transportation plan meant to solve some of the fast-growing city's traffic problems.
The company's initial long-term proposals include:
-- Establishing Jackson Trail as a south circumferential road from Lee Avenue west to West Lane.
-- Extending Shawnee Boulevard north to Deerwood Drive.
-- Establishing Deerwood Drive as a north circumferential road from Greensferry Road west to West Lane.
-- Creating a new western circumferential road, Cooper, west of West Lane.
Those are among the projects given the highest priority by the engineering firm. Its top priority is the East Main Street extension, which will create an interchange with Interstate 55.
Shatto warned that the extension will not move as much traffic through Jackson as East Jackson Boulevard does. Most of the traffic along the road will be residential.
The company hosted two meetings. The first was for the plan's stakeholders committee, a group of 34 community leaders recruited to advise the engineers. Thirteen people showed up afterward for the first public meeting in which the company presented its ideas.
In May, the company presented a list of proposed improvements designed to have an immediate impact on the city's traffic. They include construction of a roundabout at the intersection of High and Washington streets just north of the Cape Girardeau County courthouse, signal lights at Hope and Main streets and the addition of a left-turn lane on southbound Shawnee Boulevard at East Jackson Boulevard.
Reaction to those ideas has been positive, Mayor Paul Sander said. He said construction of the Shawnee Boulevard improvements could begin in 2003.