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Hwy. 61/Industrial River Road Intersection Not Considered Urgent Under Circumstances

Two troublesome intersections were discussed during last Thursday’s Ste. Genevieve County Commission meeting.
Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson called Brian Okenfuss, area engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), to talk about surveyors Nelson had seen working around the intersection of  Highway 61 and Industrial River Road.
Adding a turn lane there has been a goal for more than a year.
Bill Kraemer, a 2016 candidate for state representative, had approached the commission in March 2019 about the issue. Kraemer told the commissioners he had “personally witnessed many near-miss accidents” there. He said the area around the intersection has grown substantially in recent years, with nearby businesses combining for nearly 250 employees, plus delivery trucks, vendors and residential traffic.
He said it was especially dangerous at night.
The project had been bumped up to the county’s top priority at last August’s Southeast Missouri Transportation Advisory Committee meeting.
Adding the turn lane finished third among 21 projects voted on by committee members. The top three priorities for each of the seven counties represented were considered.
Okenfuss confirmed that surveying work had been done.
He said, however, that with traffic counts down 40 to 80 percent across the state due to the COVID-19 virus stay-at-home order, such projects were not seen as urgent.

Complete coverage of the County Commission in the April 15 edition of the Herald.