After being in limbo for almost a decade, the South Main Corridor Improvement Project finally received the necessary funding at the Sept. 7 Maryville City Council meeting.
The Federal Highway Administration will take on most of the upfront cost at $10.4 million through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant. The city of Maryville will be supplementing the remaining $2.1 million cost. The total cost of the project is just over $12.6 million.
This new funding bridges a former $3.5 million gap after initial construction bids come back higher than expected at the height of the COVID19 pandemic.
“This truly is a once in a generation project,” City Councilman Tye Parsons said.
The United States Department of Transportation received 851 applications, totaling over $11 billion. The USDOT selected 91 projects to fund throughout the U.S., and only four were selected in Missouri.
The City Council unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing Maryville’s mayor to execute a contract with VF Anderson Builders LLC construction for the South Main project.
“These kinds of grants are just not awarded to towns our size; they’re just not.” Parsons said. “This is something that is going to fundamentally change our town for the better, and I just could not be happier about it.”
In 2012, Maryville was looking to improve Main Street. The city moved forward with a traffic corridor study in late 2014 and early 2015, done by SK Design Group, which has provided work for governments all over the Kansas City metropolitan area.
The study's general scope included a review of existing traffic conditions, lane configurations, signal spacing and timings, traffic control devices, crash patterns and availability of non-motorized facilities, such as sidewalks and bike routes.
The study found many ways to improve South Main Street. The original plan included pavement reconstruction, curb gutter construction, traffic signal modifications, intersection widening, additional right-hand turn lanes, storm sewer construction, water line replacements, sidewalk and lighting updates, realignment and reduction of access points to private businesses, and landscaping and underground electric utility updates.
These improvement recommendations to the corridor were based on functionality and safety.
A three-point plan was created to improve the infrastructure. South Avenue to south of the intersection of Highway V will be phase one of the project.
Phase two will bring improvements from the northern Walmart entrance south to Highway V. The final section, phase three, will continue the functional and aesthetic improvements from Highway V south to Highway 71 Bypass.
In 2017, the city of Maryville asked the voters for a 20-year renewal option of a half-cent capital improvement sales tax. The tax passed, and the majority of the funds are going toward funding the project.
Councilwoman Rachael Martin has been working on this project the longest and also shares a positive sentiment of all the hard work that went into this project.
“There have been several hurdles that could have easily been an opportunity to say ‘this is just not going to work for us,’” Martin said. “But we were persistent, and we overcame each of those hurdles.”