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Road work ahead

Friday, September 21, 2007

BENTON -- Improvements in the Ramsey Creek area near Scott City at the border of Cape Girardeau and Scott counties will benefit the county with more commercial opportunities.

Commissioners discussed the outer road extension project at their regular meeting on Thursday.

"That's kind of a big deal for northern Scott County for development along the east side of the interstate and also an outlet for the traffic to help relieve some congestion at the intersection," said Jamie Burger, presiding commissioner. He plans to attend the meeting, hosted by the Missouri Department of Transportation, which is scheduled from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Scott City High School cafeteria.

"Once this happens, we're going to have approximately one mile of interstate frontage for business exposure," Burger continued.

"There's already some industry out there, but they have bad access," said Ron McCormick, commissioner. "This will also be a more direct route for people coming from Scott City."

Extra outlets and easier access will be a plus for emergency vehicles, Burger said. It will also ease traffic at the Scott City interchange, which, when school is in session, is backed up from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m. and again from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

The area is part of the proposed Enhanced Enterprise Zone in the county, Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn pointed out. "Anytime you can get industry in your county, you're doing good," he said. "This will be a good competitive measure -- what goes on at the north end of Cape County hurts us."

This is a project that has been in the works for quite some time, which Tim Porch, the Scott City mayor, and former Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel "worked on very hard to get," Burger said. "It looks like it's closer to seeing over the horizon than it has been in a long time."

In other news, McCormick, who is a liaison between the commission and the county's E-911 system to improve its efficiency, reported to the other commissioners they are short a few dispatchers.

"We'll be trying to hire some people," McCormick said. "We're looking for flexible part-time employees."