Bloomfield project

Cape Girardeau's plan to close part of Bloomfield Road west of Interstate 55 for three months next year has upset some nearby residents who will be affected. The half-mile stretch between Siemers Drive and Stonebridge Drive is to be widened along with the addition of curbs, gutters and a sidewalk on the north side.

The city says complete closure would cost about $200,000 less than keeping one lane open to traffic, because the $1.3 million project would take less time to complete.

Some residents in the area worry that closing the road would be dangerous if fire or medical emergencies occur in subdivisions served by the road. City manager Doug Leslie says emergency services would be notified if construction made the road impassable. Arrangements also have been made to detour school buses that serve students along Bloomfield Road.

One resident says many people who use the road will have a hardship of detours that could add 25 minutes to their drive into the city's commercial center. Leslie says the detour will add only about eight minutes to the drive.

Members of the public will have an opportunity to hear city officials explain the project at a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Osage Community Centre. Notices about the meeting have been mailed to about 170 affected property owners.

The purpose of the meeting is to hear residents' concerns and to provide accurate information about the project, Leslie says.

The widening is a Transportation Trust Fund II project that has lagged behind the others because of right-of-way and design issues.

Aside from questions about safety, three months is a lengthy amount of time to be inconvenienced by any road project. We hope the city explores any alternatives that could be less disruptive. Suggestions from area residents also would be helpful.