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Cape Girardeau County awarded three capital improvement grants

Photo by Jay Forness

Cape Girardeau County received three grants to fund upcoming capital improvements in the county park and replace a county bridge.

The county received a $470,000 Land, Water, Conservation Fund grant through Missouri State Parks. The grant will help fund a $900,000 parks project including a new shelter and restrooms near the Cape Girardeau County Veterans Memorial.

The project also an addition to Melaina’s Magical Playland, playground and shelter improvements at the North park’s #5 shelter and a new playground at the South park’s #22 shelter.

County Commissioner Paul Koeper added that in addition to this grant, the county has received a $100,000 family donation for the project and a $50,000 donation from VFW Post 3838.

This project is not expected to be completed until 2024.

The county received a nearly $500,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Rural Statewide Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to cover additions to the county park’s trails.

The project will connect the North Cape Girardeau County Park to the City of Cape Girardeau’s walking trail near the Walden Park subdivision, located behind the county park.

The new sidewalks would also connect existing trails within the park and add sidewalks alongside roadways in the park – including around the veterans memorial and the avenue of flags.

The new trail, which would be 3,300 feet in length, would be the first of three phases to connect the county’s trails to the City of Cape Girardeau’s trails. The final goal is to connect the Cape Girardeau Sportsplex to Shawnee Park.

Koeper said construction for the sidewalk project, which is expected to cost a total of $705,000, would start in 2023.

The county also received a grant from the state to replace a bridge over Apple Creek on County Road 501. Koeper said the grant is part of a special program created by Governor Mike Parson to replace off-system bridges.

The $1.3 million project will be covered by the grantand soft matching bridge replacement off-system program (BRO) funds from the county.

“It was a good thing for us because we don’t have a lot of BRO funds to put towards this,” Koeper said, adding that the county has already paid for the initial work for the new bridge.

“We did pay for the engineering and design work up front, which I think helped us get that because it is shovel ready,” he said.

Koeper said they hope to have a contract for the construction project by the end of the year, with construction starting sometime next year.

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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