Baltimore Street, one of the main arteries of Kirksville, will be under construction for the next several weeks to months.
The Missouri Department of Transportation is overseeing the project as it is a state-owned road. Ashley Young, Kirksville assistant city manager, said construction should be finished by the end of 2021.
The city road construction will total around nine miles, Young said.
The construction on Baltimore will be occurring from the intersection at East Illinois Street, near Walgreens and Hyvee, to the intersection at East Patterson Street, near Domino’s Pizza and The Golden Ruler. Young said the project will involve temporary road closures, but the road will only be closed when necessary for construction.
With the temporary road closures, Kirksville drivers will have to take detours on the side streets around Baltimore to reach their destinations. Truck drivers making deliveries to businesses along Baltimore will likely take the bypass or alternate routes to make it to their destinations.
“There is a temporary inconvenience involved with this road construction, and no one’s denying that,” Young said. “But as we discussed, this temporary inconvenience is worth it in the long run because this is the main artery through our town.”
Because Baltimore Street is also U.S. Business-63, this project is being overseen by MODOT and the state of Missouri rather than the City of Kirksville. Currently, city construction workers are helping to move utilities — like water and sewer lines — to assist the state construction workers, Young said.
Young said that although the City isn’t in charge of the project, they encouraged the state to complete the construction as the road conditions posed a safety hazard to drivers. To better preserve the road, there will also be an increase in storm sewer infrastructure, which has been an issue on Baltimore for 50 years, Young said.
“Part of the reason why the driving surface had deteriorated to the point that it had is because the storm water system in that area was not able to move the water off of the street fast enough,” Young said.
In addition to fixing the road, the construction project will also be building and restoring sidewalks along the road, which will improve conditions for both drivers and pedestrians, Young said.
The City of Kirksville will also be fixing roads in multiple areas of Kirksville. A list of areas that will be undergoing construction starting April 22, 2021 is available on the City of Kirksville’s website, kirksvillecity.com, and the City of Kirksville Facebook page.