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Though potholes are riddling the streets of Maryville, the city still has a street beautification project with an estimated $12.4 million price-tag set to take form summer 2020, making prioritizing funds a discussed focus point of city officials.

The South Main Improvement Project, which has been in the works since early 2015, has an approaching date of construction set for July 30. Plans for redirecting traffic and keeping roads efficient for commuters is increasingly important for city staff after hearing public concerns.

Several traffic studies have served as a motivator for the project, as well as improving city tourism. Several projects the city has taken on are with an underlying goal of attracting consumers to the local area, buying local and stimulating growth in the city.

The South Main Improvement Project page on the city website outlines the project as a whole. It describes the process of engineering and construction as “the best way to serve existing and future travel demands along South Main Street.”

City Manager Greg McDanel said the construction company SK Design Group Inc. of Overland Park, Kansas, entered an agreement with the city to conduct engineering services for the project. SK Design worked with the city before on projects like the reformation and design of Fourth Street and the arch denoting “Northwest Missouri State University.”

Overall project goals for South Main are to provide a more appealing look to the area while forming ideal road design for the popularly traveled corridor.

City staff, including members of the city council and the Maryville Downtown Improvement Organization, have all said the project is a step in the right direction.

“The project will reconstruct approximately one and a half miles of South Main Street,” McDanel said. “We have had and will continue to have meetings with property owners and businesses impacted by the project.”

The construction process is scheduled to last from July 2020 through June 2022. It will add sidewalks and more accessible ways of passage for pedestrians, install additional traffic lights, improve designated turn lanes, relocate utility lines and design more advanced and aesthetically pleasing entryways to businesses.

All of these changes formulate a hefty price tag, which the city was able to budget for from national funding.

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Maryville $10.4 million in grant funds after reviewing 850 applicants nationwide for the aid. Only 90 other applicants received grant funds requested for.

Mayor Rachael Martin said working with staff on applying for grants and drafting provisions on the South Main Improvement Project has been a highlight of her career in public office.

“South Main is likely the most traveled corridor in our community,” Martin said in an email interview. “The attention and funds from USDOT for the South Main Improvement Project are significant.”

The city will continue to hold public meetings for ordinary citizens to express concerns, as well as closed meetings with businesses and property owners to address any needs not being met in the engineering process.

Citizens are also encouraged to attend bi-weekly city council meetings held 7 p.m. every other Monday, where there is time allocated for citizens to be heard.

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