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MoDOT discusses proposed changes to Hwy. 61

MoDOT Project Manager Curt Woolsey, right, discusses the options for proposed changes at Highway 61 and Donna Drive with Jackson Alderman David Hitt, left, and City Administrator James Roach. Photo by Gregory Dullum

The public had an opportunity to learn about what changes may be coming to U.S. Highway 61 as it winds through Jackson — and to comment on those changes — at a public meeting Thursday afternoon at South Elementary.

During the meeting, three studies along the corridor were discussed. The studies include:

• Corridor study on Highway 61 from the north interchange near Fruitland to the Route 25 intersection by the train in Jackson.
Alternatives for intersection improvements and a possible center turn lane were shared. Sidewalks may be added to Highway 61 near Immaculate Conception Catholic School.

This study did not include the proposed roundabout at Deerwood Drive, the Hubble Creek Bridge replacement project, or the roundabout near the courthouse, as these projects are currently in the works (or in the case of the courthouse roundabout, completed). This study was for future improvements to Highway 61.

• Intersection improvement study at the Route 61/Shawnee Boulevard intersection.

Traffic tends to back up on Shawnee Boulevard and Old Cape Road at certain times of the day, forcing drivers to sit through several signal changes.

MoDOT is considering widening Shawnee Boulevard slightly as it climbs the hill to Highway 61, and adding another turn lane.
Another option is to move the traffic signal to the east and add a new road connecting Old Cape road to Highway 61 at Highland.

The intersection at Shawnee would be converted so drivers could not turn left; the only options would be to turn right onto Shawnee from Highway 61 or turn right onto Highway 61 from Shawnee Boulevard.

• Intersection improvement study at Highway 61/Donna Drive. The three options would move traffic from Kimbel Lane through the current parking lot in front of the Teen Challenge Thrift Store to the existing Donna Drive intersection.

One of the options would eliminate the intersection of Kimbel Lane and Highway 61; Kimbel Lane would end in a cul-de-sac next to Highway 61.

The first two studies are for the distant future; however, the Donna Drive intersection improvements are included in the fiscal year 2027 MoDOT budget, so changes here may be only a few years away.

To view the meeting handout or comment on this project, please visit https://www.modot.org/61CorridorJackson. For more information, contact MoDOT Project Manager Curt Woolsey at 417 469-6232 or Mo-DOT Area Engineer Chris Crocker at 573-380-1658 or MoDOT’s Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636).

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at cashbook@mvp.net.

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