City Manager Greg McDanel told the Maryville City Council this week that a deal is in place with the Missouri Department of Transportation to redesignate East First Street between Main and Depot as Highway 46.
Moving — and repaving — the highway route would likely occur in 2014 along with several other proposed MoDOT projects.
These include resurfacing of the following roads: Jade Avenue near its intersection with the Highway 71/136 bypass north of town; currently graveled 250th Street, which crosses the bypass and leads to the MoDOT facility and Missouri State Highway Patrol office; a brief stretch of Highway 136 on the east side of the bypass; and Route V between Munn and Highway 71.
McDanel said the largest of the MoDOT projects, none of which have received final approval, calls for resurfacing the entire 71/136 bypass by laying asphalt over the existing concrete.
City officials have long sought to reroute Highway 146 from East Third to East First in order to eliminate an awkward traffic jog downtown.
The highway designation currently runs through Maryville eastbound along First Street until it gets to Main, then right-angles north two blocks to the courthouse square, where it turns east again on Third Street and continues past Eugene Field Elementary School to Depot.
McDanel said the odd routing was devised years ago due to the location of the old Maryville High School building on East First. The jog also funneled more traffic onto the square, then the heart of Maryville's retail shopping district.
Though the school is long gone, and most of the city's stores and shops are now located along the South Main corridor, the odd Z-shaped path of Highway 46 remains.
In reality, most cars and trucks moving east to west through town simply cross Main and continue down First Street. Drivers who do opt for the "real" highway serve to increase traffic volume in front of the elementary school.
McDanel said past discussions with MoDOT about shifting the highway route south two blocks to East First hit a snag because the state declined to bring Third Street up to city standards with curbs, gutters and an improved storm water system.
However, more recent negotiations have resulted in a tentative deal. McDanel said movement toward a resolution was driven in part by MoDOT's intention to carry out all of its planned Maryville projects at about the same time.
The crux of the agreement, which still requires final approval by both parties, is this: the city will accept maintenance responsibility for East Third Street between Main and Depot in "as is" condition, while MoDOT will repave First Street's 24-foot-wide driving surface along the same stretch.
First Street is 36 feet wide between Main and Depot and includes a 12-foot-wide parking lane along the north side of the street. The city will retain responsibility for this strip, but will receive funds for repaving it through a state Surface Transportation Program grant.
Page 2 of 2 - Such grants requires a 20 percent local match, but McDanel said the bottom line is that Maryville will get nearly $150,000 worth of paving done on a major traffic artery at a cost of slightly less than $8,000.