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Kirksville to celebrate opening of US 63

The Missouri Department of Transportation announces Monday the new US 63 will open within the next few weeks. Prior to the official opening to traffic, MoDOT, the City of Kirksville, and the Chamber of Commerce have planned a ribbon-cutting ceremony to signify their partnership and the importance of this major transportation improvement for the area. The public is invited to attend.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on Monday, October 24 at 11 a.m. at the NEMO Fairgrounds. MoDOT expects the new highway to open later in the same week. The keynote speaker is MoDOT Chief Engineer Dave Nichols; other dignitaries expected to share comments are: State Representative Zachary Wyatt, Mayor of Kirksville Richard Detweiler, Adair County Commissioner Carson Adams, Iowa District Engineer Jim Armstrong, and Highway 63 Corporation member Harriett Beard. MoDOT NE District Engineer Paula Gough will emcee the event.

Craig Shorten is planning to parachute to the ceremony to help kick off the event. Music is being provided by Truman State University. An inaugural "drive" will be held immediately following the ceremony and will be led by City of Kirksville Police Chief Jim Hughes.

The ceremony program is online at modot.org/northeast under the Alternate 63 project.

"While the project has been called Alternate 63, the new highway is actually designated as US 63," said MoDOT Assistant District Engineer Kevin James. He added that Baltimore, or the old 63 that runs through Kirksville, will become Business 63.

"We appreciate the patience of all drivers through Kirksville and look forward to continuing to work with area residents to improve our transportation system," James said.

This project is estimated to cost about $30 million, and more than $7 million is coming from a sales tax passed by Kirksville residents.

History of the project, pictures, video and facts are all online at modot.org/northeast, or for more information, please call MoDOT at 1-888-275-6636. Links to related information: MoDOT Alt 63 Project

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