POPLAR BLUFF- Even though it was a foggy morning, the future looked bright for Poplar Bluff Missouri as the ribbon was cut marking the official opening of Shelby Road. Over 400 citizens gathered to mark this milestone in the development of Poplar Bluff. City Councilman Loyd Matthews said, “The cooperation between government and a private individual made the project possible and we need to do more of these kinds of projects in the future. Already we have a new hospital and shopping center planned and in 20 years this roadway will look completely different because of all the development that will take place along this corridor.” Chamber Director Steve Halter added, “This is a great day for Poplar Bluff! As Ed Strenfel mentioned at the ribbon cutting, this is a new “Corridor of Commerce” for Poplar Bluff and we now have a huge asset to use when selling our City to prospective businesses.”
There were several dignitaries who made comments including Reps. Elect Richardson, and Cookson, MoDOT District 10 engineer Mark Shelton, City Councilman Loyd Matthews, Presiding Commissioner Ed Strenfel, Schultz and Summers owner Bob Summers, and property owner Paul Duckett.
Shelby Road is a 1.9-mile 4-lane connection between Highway W and Highway PP. The total project cost approximately $5.4 million and took four years to develop and build. As part of their long-range planning, the City of Poplar Bluff, in conjunction with the Cripple Creek Transportation Development District, constructed the road that will provide the City with a new development corridor along the West side of Poplar Bluff. Schultz and Summers Engineering completed its design in 2009 and helped the two entities secure funding through the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Emery, Sapp & Sons, Inc. (ESS) and Robertson Contractors Inc were selected as the contractors for the project and they kept Shelby road on track. The first phase was completed this spring by Robertson Construction. The second phase, which involves the gravel base and paving, has just been completed by ESS. Frank Carroll, former assistant to the Chief Engineer of the Missouri Department of Transportation and Schultz and Summers Engineering employee had this to say, "The weather has been great for construction and the contractors have made the best out of it. Everyone worked hard to deliver this project on time and on budget. All-and-all it’s been a wonderful project that the City will be proud of for years to come."
There were several other activities surrounding the opening of Shelby Road including the inaugural “Movin On Shelby Road 5K” run, parade of classic Shelby’s, and an old fashioned BBQ . Over 80 runners participated in the 5K with Joanne Roberts winning the ladies race with a time of 20:55 and Bailey Davidson winning the mens race with a time of 18:46. Leading the parade were Paul Duckett and several other Shelby owners along with over 150 fellow citizens who wanted to be the first to drive down the new roadway. At the conclusion of the day’s activities, Paul Duckett said, “This is an exciting day for Poplar Bluff and my family. We are very proud to have been able to do something that will benefit our community and our children for years to come. This road was possible because of the hard work of several individuals. The city council and MoDOT were invaluable as was Schultz and Summers engineering, but Frank Carroll with SSE brought everyone together and turned this dream into reality. ”
SSE owner and Chamber board member Bob Summers concluded, “Shelby road will be a huge asset for attracting new business and jobs to Poplar Bluff. It is also a major step in completing a total road corridor around our City that will make it easier for trucking and business commerce to access all areas of Poplar Bluff. Paul Duckett, City manager Doug Bagbey, and Frank Carroll deserve much of the credit for completing this project.”