Traffic on New River Bridge at Cape Less Than Expected

OCTOBER 17, 2006 - Posted at 11:20 a.m. CDT

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO - The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge in Cape Girardeau isn't generating the kind of traffic that was expected when it opened three years ago, and Mayor Jay Knudtson thinks he knows why...there's not much to go to on the Illinois side.

State highway officials predicted 26,000 vehicles would cross the Mississippi River bridge each day by 2015.  A recent count showed the number at about 7,500.

Knudtson and other officials from both sides of the river see hope in the form of Interstate 66, a proposal that would provide a coast-to-coast interstate, including a stretch from the Cape Girardeau bridge to Paducah, Kentucky.

Problem is another route is also under consideration.  Grants are being sought for studies to see which route works best.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)