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Hwy. 61 construction begins in Jackson

A portion of Highway 61 in Jackson was closed on Monday, with work expected to last until November 2024. The bridge over Hubble Creek, shown above, will be replaced as part of the construction project. Photo by Jay Forness

Construction along Highway 61 in Jackson began on Monday, Oct. 2, with a portion of the road scheduled to be closed for the next 13 months. The work will include new left turn lanes and replacing the bridge over Hubble Creek.

The portion of Highway 61 closed on Monday included North High Street from the entrance to the Jackson City Park near Route D to the historic Cape Girardeau County Courthouse, as well as the block of East Washington Street between North High Street and North Hope Street.

Penzel Construction Company was awarded the $7,086,940 contract from the Missouri Department of Transportation to complete the project in June.

According to previous reporting by The Cash-Book Journal, this section of the highway is the oldest pavement in Jackson and now comprises of multiple layers of asphalt over concrete. Instead of adding an additional layer of asphalt, MoDOT plans tear up the roadway and replaced it with a new concrete surface.

Work had begun on Monday at the Mary Street intersection, where Highway 61 will be widened in order to add a northbound left turn lane. In addition, the intersection will be adjusted so the crossing of Mary Street will line up instead of remaining offset.

The northbound left turn lane onto Route D will also be lengthened. Access into the Jackson City Park is also expected to be altered, with the entrance near the swimming pool moving south away from the Route D. In addition, the entrance to Highway 61 from Cascade Drive inside the park will be closed and turned into a one-way loop around the park’s maintenance building.

During the construction project, the City of Jackson will make utility upgrades simultaneously with MoDOT’s work. The project will also include Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sidewalk improvements.

Only local traffic will be allowed during the construction, with passenger vehicles detoured to Farmington Street. Motorists are urged by MoDOT to use extreme caution while traveling near the area.  Tractor trailers are asked to take exit 99 of Interstate 55 to make deliveries in Jackson or exit 105 for Fruitland.

The work is expected to be competed Nov. 1, 2024.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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