Travelers who frequently spend time travelling from Cape to Paducah could see a more direct route in the future. The Illinois Department of Transportation hopes a formal study for the new highway connecting Cape Girardeau and Paducah, Ky. will begin in March. One possible route for the proposed highway, dubbed Interstate 66, would connect Interstate 55 to Interstate 24, cutting travel time between the cities from an hour and a half to about 45 minutes. Retailers in Paducah and Cape Girardeau would benefit, and towns along the route in Southern Illinois would stand to benefit from the increased traffic. IDOT program development engineer Carrie Nelson says the department is waiting for federal authorization for consultants hired to study route concepts to begin work. Illinois' transportation department secured federal funding, and is leading the study because the connecting route would have to travel through the state.
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