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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber. 0000017b-d583-d84a-afff-fdd77fc70000Local support for Let's Talk Business comes from First Midwest Bank -- offering banking solutions for all stages of life. Online at onemidwest.com. Member FDIC.

Let's Talk Business: Infrastructure Planning for the Region

Southeast Metropolitan Planning Organization

Now is a critical time for transportation infrastructure planning in the Cape/Jackson MSA.

When an area becomes a federally defined metropolitan statistical area, they can establish a metropolitan planning organization. SEMPO, or the Southeast Metropolitan Planning Organization, serves that purpose for the local MSA. This is the group responsible for working with the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Illinois Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration to assess, plan, and improve the local transportation infrastructure.

SEMPO was required by federal law to do a Metropolitan Transportation Plan.  This plan identified how the metropolitan area will manage and operate a multi-modal transportation system (including transit, highway, bicycle, pedestrian, and accessible transportation) to meet the region’s economic, transportation, development and sustainability goals – among others – for a 20+-year planning horizon, while remaining fiscally constrained. The plan must be updated every five years and we are at that time period.

The organization recently entered into an agreement with a team headed by KLG Engineering. Over the next several months, they will be charged with reviewing the current plan, and making suggestions and tweaks in several areas including: commuting patterns, land use and environmental concerns, infrastructure considerations, safety analysis, performance measures, traffic demand models, and future trends and needs.

This is not done in a vacuum and here is where you can help. There will be focus groups, online surveys, virtual community open house meetings, and other opportunities for input. If you are interested in any aspect of the local transportation network, please watch www.southeastmpo.org for announcements.

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