DUNKLIN COUNTY, MO (KAIT) – A planning committee is working to organize an expansion project for U.S. Highway 412.
Mr. T's Riverside in Cardwell, MO sits just off Highway 412 at the Missouri-Arkansas state line, the starting point for widening the highway from two to four lanes all the way to Kennett.
Mr. T's owner Bonida Poynor, and further north, Senath Mayor Joe Lane are both in favor of the possible expansion.
"The Arkansas side has been a great asset to our end of the county here, the end of the Bootheel, and going north to (Interstate) 55, it's going to be great," Poynor said.
"I think everybody is interested in this project because we have a lot of traffic on 412," said Mayor Lane. "The farmers use it a lot, hauling grain and cotton and etc., and everyday people going to work and back."
The primary question Poynor and Mayor Lane have concerns funding for the project.
"We're taxed pretty heavily on tobacco, cigarettes, all the luxuries that they do tax, which my industry as a merchant supplies and I know that's going to be a difficult thing to try to finance," Poynor said.
The transportation committee spearheading the project, made up of elected and civic leaders in the Bootheel area, plan to look to highway programs already in place, such as the $1.8 billion Arkansas Highway Program enacted by Arkansas tax payers via a recently passed temporary half-cent sales tax scheduled to take effect July 2013.
The transportation committee handling the project has invited the Missouri Department of Transportation and the mayors in Senath, Hornersville, Cardwell and Kennett to meet Wednesday, Feb. 13 at the Kennett Chamber of Commerce to discuss the plan and funding strategies.