Discussion of an ambitious plan to overhaul the Fourth Street corridor between Main Street and Northwest Missouri State University continued this week among members of the Maryville City Council.
On Monday, the city's governing board approved a contract with SK Design Group Inc. of Overland Park, Kan., directing the company to engineer a suite of improvements intended to expand concepts incorporated into the "streetscape" project completed last year around the courthouse square.
City Manager Greg McDanel said SK was one of five engineering firms to respond to a "request for qualifications," and that the the decision to retain the company was based on the quality of its proposal rather than a low-bid approach.
McDanel said the selection criteria made sense because the SK proposal contains a number of elements absent from conceptual plans submitted by other companies.
Included among the more dramatic features would be a decorative metal arch across Main Street at the Fourth Street intersection blazoned with Northwest Missouri State University's trademark "N" and a large arrow pointing the way to campus.
SK has also proposed replacing an awkwardly designed triangular junction at Fourth and Dunn streets with a new T-shaped intersection that the company says will make the area safer for both motorists and pedestrians.
Other proposed Fourth Street enhancements include an eight-foot-wide concrete bicycle/pedestrian path along the north side of the roadway and a five-foot-wide sidewalk along the south side.
SK designers also called for extensive landscaping; replacement of deteriorated curbs and gutters; and the installation of handicap-friendly ramps and warning strips, vintage-style street lights, sections of decoratively stamped concrete, and modular block retaining walls.
The street itself would be milled and overlaid with a fresh layer of asphalt.
Adding new features such as the downtown arch and the reconfigured Dunn Street intersection means both the cost of design work and actual construction will increase, McDanel told the council.
The original engineering budget was estimated at $73,000, with City Hall and the university splitting the cost. That figure has now been upped to $152,000.
McDanel said the university has agreed to increase its contribution to $55,000 and recommended that an additional $58,670 in capital improvements funding be added to the city's initial $38,321 commitment. He said the new $152,000 total is a "not to exceed" figure and will decrease if some of the design elements are dropped from the final plan.
Construction costs will increase as well to around $1.5 million, about $300,000 more than the original estimate.
McDanel and other municipal officials are hoping nearly $800,000 of that total will come from a pair grants for which the city has applied, including: $240,000 in state Transportation Enhancement Funds for pedestrian improvements requiring a 20 percent local match, and $489,000 in Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits through the state Department of Economic Development.
Page 2 of 2 - MoDOT and DED should make a decision on both applications early in 2013, McDanel said.
In other action Monday during its specially called Veterans Day meeting, the City Council:
∙Learned that the state Department of Natural Resources has declared the new equestrian campground at Mozingo Lake Park to be in compliance with grant requirements, clearing the way for disbursement to the city of $99,000 in state funds.
∙Approved a request filed by Lawrence and Catherine Barmann for new zoning at the Pleasant Ridge subdivision along 19th Street to allow for construction of townhouses and duplexes.
∙Passed an ordinance amending a contract with White Cloud Engineering & Construction with regard to an additional $7,740 payment for adjusting the fall of a sewer lone running along the east side of Depot Street, which is currently being reconstructed by Polk Township.