City of Kirksville continues road construction projects

A muddy street with a pipe in it
The City of Kirksville is building a box culvert along North Cottage Grove Avenue. Kirksville has also been working on the reconstruction of Illinois Street throughout the summer months. (Photo by Elisabeth Shirk)

The City of Kirksville began work on two major transportation projects this summer: a reconstruction of Illinois Street and the implementation of a new box culvert water flow system — allowing water and drainage to flow under city streets — at the corner of North Cottage Grove Avenue and East Harrison Street. Kirksville is also filling potholes around the city as part of continual transportation maintenance and repair.

Work on Illinois Street started in early May, and the box culvert project began in early July. The projects are funded by the City’s $1.2 million annual street rehabilitation and maintenance budget, and additional funding comes from a half-cent transportation sales tax renewed by Kirksville voters in 2014. Assistant city manager Ashley Young said starting next year, seventy-five percent of the revenue from that sales tax will go towards street and infrastructure repair.

City engineer Len Kollars said the budget for the box culvert project was $180,000, but the actual construction will be about $162,000. He expects the box culvert project to be finished by Oct. 1. He said a detour over to Manor Road has been organized by the City for traffic, including city school buses and one of the project objectives is to open the street by the middle of August.

Kollars said the culvert, which is currently under construction, will be 8 feet wide, 5 feet tall and 35 feet long. He said it will be made out of concrete and reinforced with steel for added strength.

The main purpose of the new box culvert is to help mitigate flooding in the area. Kollars said the reduced flooding should also improve home values and aesthetics in the neighborhood.

Public Works Director Glenn Balliew said every few years the City does a big reconstruction project, and this year’s was Illinois Street. He said the reconstruction of Illinois Street is the largest project the City has ever tried to do in-house.

“The engineering estimate was over $2.5 million for a contractor to do,” Balliew said. “We’re doing it in-house for $800,000.”

Balliew said the old Illinois Street was made from concrete that had been there for many years, and over time it had become rotten and weak. He said as long as the weather holds up, they are expecting the project to be completed before the end of this year.

Balliew said next year the City will begin a paving project, focusing on roads with a lot of potholes. He said once those roads are paved, they should hold for 10-15 years or more.

Balliew said the City uses a DuraPatcher to fill the potholes.

“The key thing with potholes is to get the grade right and get the water off the roads,” Balliew said.

Young said the City would like to encourage people to go to the City’s website and use the citizen service request tool if they see a pothole they feel isn’t being addressed.