CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,
Aug. 12, 2005 – Two-way traffic will return to the north side of Broadway from Park Avenue to Houck Place, and Henderson Street at Broadway will reopen to traffic beginning on Monday, Aug. 15.
“Two-way traffic will be possible on the north side of Broadway for move-in day” scheduled for Aug. 18 at Southeast Missouri State University, said Keith Kimmel, Facilities Management construction manager for the project. “Henderson will be open completely at that time; however, there will be a right-turn-only access to Broadway from Henderson in order to reduce crowding on Henderson Street.”
The staging of material and equipment on the parking lot across from New Hall, just north of Broadway along Henderson, will be cleaned for move-in day to allow increased access to the University for students and their families, University officials say.
Southeast Missouri State University, in conjunction with the city of Cape Girardeau, has been working since May to widen Broadway to four lanes between Park Avenue and Houck Place and realign Henderson Street to make it more perpendicular to Broadway. Nip Kelley Equipment Co. Inc. has been serving as the general contractor for the project that will allow better traffic flow and increased access to the University. The work will widen Broadway by about 10 to 20 feet through this stretch, with the intersection of Broadway and Henderson being moved 100 feet to the west.
Broadway also is receiving a new curb and gutter, along with better storm drainage. The project is expected to result in better traffic flow from Park Avenue to Houck Place.
The final concrete for the north side of Broadway was poured on Thursday, July 28, marking the completion of the first phase of the project. University officials say work on the south side of Broadway will be completed by the end of August, which will finish the second phase of the project. During this time, Broadway from Park Avenue to Henderson Street may be closed intermittently as the project is completed.
The next phase of the project, which will consist of improvements from Park Avenue to Perry Avenue, is expected to begin in 2006.
The project experienced some unexpected delays throughout the summer, University officials say, including the discovery of thousands of telephone lines in the grade of Broadway as well as uneven street elevation. For these reasons, construction crews had to lower the telephone cable and raise the grade of the street in some areas. Rain during July also slowed work.
“This project overcame lots of adversity,” said Scott Meyer, director of Facilities Management at Southeast Missouri State University. “We worked with the city, the utilities, the contractor and the consulting engineer to find solutions to problems that threatened at least a six-week delay. Even with the hurricane induced rains in the middle of the summer, the road will be opened and operable for the arrival of students.”The widening of Broadway and the relocation portion of the project is being funded by the City of Cape Girardeau with transportation trust funds. The University is acting as the city’s agent on the project.
Simultaneously with the project, the renovation of the exterior of Houck Field House is under way and also will be complete by the end of August. Work is being done to reface the Field House to more closely reflect the façade of Houck Stadium, with repair of all deteriorating surfaces and treatment of the exterior on the east, south and west sides. An exterior insulation finish system with a stucco-like sandstone finish is being put in place, and the outer facing on the building is scheduled to be complete in mid-August.
Masonry work, including the construction of limestone planters at the base of the south face of the building, is also well under way. Columns will be placed on each side of the main doors of the facility with a canopy over the entrance. New aluminum curtain wall framing and new glass will be installed near the entrance as well, and the building will also feature new glass block panels on its outer walls. Improvements will be made to Lot 65 in front of the Field house to include 120 parking spaces. Half of Houck Place is also being renovated to better serve the flow of traffic in that area.
In another related project, the University is using its funds to install gateway entrance signage on the east and west sides of Henderson at Broadway. The entrance will feature rough-cut limestone, with each structure spanning about 35 feet, capped on each side by five-foot square pedestals eight feet in height with smooth-cut limestone caps. The concave face of each monument will feature a water curtain with the name “Southeast Missouri State University” in pin-mounted lettering above. The monuments will be mirror images of each other. Construction drawings for the project are now being finalized, with the project set to be completed later this fall.