The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 5, 2012

Wally Kennedy: Sidewalks could save a life on South Range Line

By Wally Kennedy

— A friend here at the Globe was forced by the tornado to relocate to an apartment near 36th Street and Range Line Road.

There’s one thing he’s noticed about living there. I quote: “I can’t believe the number of people who risk their lives to cross the street.’’

The street in this case is South Range Line Road. The problem is there are no crosswalks or sidewalks to let people walk from their hotel on one side of the road to a restaurant on the other side of the road.

People who live here know the inherent danger posed by having no sidewalks or crosswalks at one of the busiest commercial zones in all of Joplin. Out-of-towners don’t know that.

That’s about to change, beginning Monday. The Missouri Department of Transportation will start building sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks at the intersection. This will be disruptive for business owners and nighttime motorists in that area, but this work could save somebody’s life.

Here are some things you need to know:

• Drivers can expect nighttime lane closings on Range Line and on 36th Street during construction.

• Crews will close lanes as early as 7 p.m. and have them reopened to traffic by 6 a.m. each day.

• One lane in each direction will remain open at all times.

• It also might be necessary to work on some of the entrances to businesses. Half of an entrance might be blocked at a time or closed completely if the business has more than one entrance. MoDOT said the crews will work with the businesses so that customers will have access at all times.

The west sidewalk will extend 700 feet north of 36th Street and 500 feet south. The east sidewalk will extend 700 feet north of 36th Street.

Pedestrian crossing buttons will be placed on the existing traffic signal at 36th Street.

The contractor for this project is Emery Sapp and Sons, of Columbia. The cost is $378,000. The project is scheduled for completion by late August.

The sooner the better. My friend of late has been able to resist the temptation of opening his apartment window and yelling something crude at the out-of-towners who try to cross Range Line on foot. I’m not sure how much longer that will last.

More Gryphon news

All Things Grand has opened its new shop in the Gryphon Building, 1027 S. Main St. This is in addition to the shop that it operates in Carthage.

The shop will be home to two niche markets. Cherry’s Custom Framing and Art Gallery, which also has a shop in Carthage, will offer framing services, and fine art selections by local artists and others. The Wild Flower, which has a shop at 1832 E. 32nd St., will offer all-occassion flowers, consulting services for bridal events and home decorating.

Shop opens

Reeve’s Tire and Automotive has opened its new shop at 1613 S. Madison St. (Range Line becomes Madison in Webb City.) A ribbon-cutting ceremony recently was staged.

The owners also operate a shop at 810 E. Seventh St., in Joplin.

If you have news about something happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, call 417-623-3480, ext. 7250; or send an email to; or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 417-623-8598.