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Throughout the warmest months of the year, City of Cape Girardeau’s Public Works’ Street Maintenance Division and City Development Services‘ Engineering Division plan and work to repair and maintain the roadway infrastructure of the city. With new long-and-short term projects beginning regularly, crews have their hands full this summer and into the rest of 2016.
“It’s a joint partnership between us and Engineering. They’re busy and we’re busy, so we’re working together here,” said Andrew Stone, Public Works’ Traffic Operations Manager. “So, that’s being done and it’s fixing a lot of roads in town.”
City staff and crews work together maintaining approximately 233 miles of streets through a number of different programs, including the Transportation Trust Fund, City crew repairs and Asphalt Overlay.
The Annual Asphalt Overlay program includes the process of milling the roadway, which includes removing about two inches of existing asphalt creating a roughened, solid surface. After milling, two inches of asphalt is laid on the rough surface and is formed and leveled into the finished driving surface. After only a few hours, drivers can enjoy the smoother road. Asphalt overlay can add up five to eight years of life to a road at a reasonable cost to taxpayers.
Potholes and small sections of road can be repaired with different types of asphalt that serve as a temporary and inexpensive solution to immediate street problems. These solutions are durable enough to last until resources can be provided for more extensive repairs. Harsh winters and other environmental factors are often the cause of these street issues.
Throughout the year, Public Works’ crews travel the city filling potholes and fixing other immediate concrete issues on Cape’s roads while much larger projects, like the Neighborhood Street Repair program, are contracted to other companies for completion.
“Public Works has two crews that traditionally do concrete, so we’re trying to get out there and fix the worst spots first,” said Stone.
The Neighborhood Street Repair program includes all new pavement on all or parts of a neighborhood’s streets. This program is similar to the Annual Asphalt Overlay in that it replaces the existing driving surface with a new one, but is more extensive. Neighborhood Street Repair requires completely removing the concrete from an area in need of repair. Once faulty concrete is removed, contractors lay base rock as needed and then cast new concrete on top of the base. Preparation for new concrete can take up to one week. Once the new concrete is cast, it takes between five and seven days to cure before it is ready for traffic.
Citizens can expect to see many neighborhood streets receiving facelifts this year, including portions of:
- Lexington Place Subdivision
- Ashland Hills Subdivision
- Keystone Drive
- Dover Lane
- Carolewood Subdivision
- Good Hope Street
Annual Asphalt Overlay projects scheduled for this year have already been completed. These projects included:
- Grandview Drive from Grandview Drive to Lexington
- Ridgeway Drive from West Cape Rock to Brookwood Drive
- Jasmine Lane from Carolina Lane to Rampart Street
- Lisa Drive from Carolina Lane to 2560 Lisa Drive
- Magnolia Avenue from Grandview Drive to 2582 Magnolia Avenue
Most of Cape Girardeau’s street repairs are funded through the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF), which began in 1995. Every five years since 1995, citizens have voted on and passed this 0.5 percent (half-cent per dollar spent) sales tax to continue repairing our streets. The revenue gathered via TTF is set into a fund exclusively for road renovation. Projects are funded on a “pay-as-you-go” basis, preventing overspending of tax dollars and borrowing funds to complete projects.
In 2015, voters approved the Transportation Trust Fund 5 (TTF-5) which funds road projects initiated between 2016 and approximately 2020. TTF-5 is expected to provide an estimated $24 million for road repairs. An extra $3.2 million for neighborhood repairs will be added to TTF-5 from the formerly-proposed Armstrong Drive project in TTF-3 (2005-2010), which was later approved by voters for neighborhood street repair.
Other projects to be completed as a part of TTF-5 (2016-2020) include:
- Fountain Street from William Street to Independence Street
- Lexington Avenue from Sherwood Drive to West Cape Rock Drive
- Main Street from Roberts Street to Cape Rock Drive
- Sloan Creek Bridge
- Sprigg Street from William to Broadway
- West End Boulevard from New Madrid to Bertling Street
Several projects from TTF-4 (2010-2015) are still underway and are expected to be completed later this year, including phase five of the Veterans Memorial Drive Project, which closed a section of Hopper Road. Veteran’s Memorial Drive phase five is expected to be completed in late 2016.
Also from TTF-4, a roundabout is being constructed at the intersection of Independence Street and East Rodney Drive/Gordonville Road. Roundabout construction is expected to begin in July and completion is projected in late December. The project came from a need to improve traffic flow and efficiency at the busy intersection. More improvements are expected for Independence from the roundabout, crossing Kingshighway, to Caruthers Avenue via TTF-5.
While street repair is common during warm summer months, Public Works works all year to maintain, manage, and evaluate Cape Girardeau’s roads. In addition to road repairs, the Street Division is also responsible for landscaping right-of-ways, fallen limb removal, sign maintenance, and traffic signals at 22 different intersections.
For more information about Public Works’ Street Division, Development Services’ Engineering Division or the Transportation Trust Fund, visit cityofcape.org.