City Residents Surprised By Lack Of Road Construction

Editorial written by James Baughn on Sunday, May 14, 2000

from the open-roads-open-champagne dept.

CAPE GIRARDEAU -- Now that Bloomfield Road is finally open, no major roads are under construction in the city. It's time to celebrate. But don't get too excited: Broadway and Gordonville Road are up next.

Long-time city residents know the following two rules of driving in town:

Rule 1. Avoid William Street if at all possible.
Rule 2. If it appears that taking William Street might save you time, refer to Rule 1.

Unfortunately, the closing of Bloomfield Road made it difficult to avoid driving on William, where the traffic is thick and the lights are always turning red. That situation is now over with, much to everyone's relief.

The short hiatus from "ROAD CLOSED" barriers, "ONE LANE ROAD AHEAD" signs, and orange barrels won't last long, though. Improvements on Broadway between Clark and Perry Avenues are slated to begin on May 20th. Long-time city residents also know a third rule of driving in town:

Rule 3. Unless you're a bored teenager, don't even think about taking Broadway on Friday and Saturday evenings during the school year.

The city is wise to begin Broadway construction after school lets out for the summer, but let's not forget about another rule that long-time residents know:

Rule 4. Road construction projects in Cape Girardeau take 50% longer than anybody would ever expect... even when taking this rule into account.

The glacial slowness in completing Perryville Road is a demonstration of this concept. I'm sure more than one person who uses that route wondered just how many coffee breaks the contractors were taking. So, unless Broadway is finished before the end of summer, people who don't follow Rule 3 might find themselves bumper-to-bumper with carloads of uninsured 16 year olds.

In addition to Broadway improvements, the city also plans to extend Silver Springs Road north from William where it will intersect Gordonville Road at a -- gasp! -- roundabout. With all the controversy surrounding the speculation of building a roundabout at Sprigg and Normal last year, it's surprising that nobody has gotten upset about this one. I never did understand the vehement objection to traffic circles; it's almost as if people actually like to sit at red lights or four-way stops.

One thing is certain: you shouldn't have to sit at any orange barrels or cones for the next week. Just don't get used to it.