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MoDOT looking at Baltimore Street repairs by "2020, 2021"

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) recently released its list of planned improvements through 2022. (KTVO File)

As trenches continue to grow along one Heartland thoroughfare, many are wondering if the street will ever be fixed.

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) recently released its list of planned improvements through 2022.

Missing from that list is Business 63, better known as Baltimore Street in Kirksville.

Kirksville Public Works Director Glenn Balliew says the street has been a safety hazard in recent years, as well as an economic one.

"It affects a lot of businesses in town. It affects when people are coming in [and] out of town. They see that road and it's kind of an embarrassment for us."

However, both MoDOT and city officials say residents shouldn't be concerned about the future of Baltimore.

MoDOT Area Engineer Amy Crawford says the road is still under scoping.

Scoping, or analyzing the street must be completed before it can be named to an improvement or repair list.

Consultants work to determine what needs repairs and then come up with a price estimate.

Results from that project are set to be released in August.

Crawford says that although the street isn't on the improvement list, not all money in the improvement budget has been allocated.

"We've got money out there for a project. We are looking at 2020, 2021, somewhere in there, fiscal year wise where we can get some improvements made to Baltimore."

Balliew says that even though that's still years away, it's a step forward.

A step he says, is thanks only to the people of Kirksville for taking a stand on the condition of the street.

"I've spoken with MoDOT Director [Patrick McKenna]. He brought up Baltimore to me, so it's on his radar screen as well. Progress is being made."

In addition to possible Baltimore improvements on the horizon, changes could be coming to a collector road nearby.

Due to a curb constantly being wrecked by traffic at the intersection of Baltimore and Jefferson streets in Kirksville, MoDOT could soon eliminate a turn lane on the route.

Crawford feels the change will be beneficial.

"We would be getting rid of the right turn lane so that all of the traffic would be going through one lane. It would keep the traffic from really being in the curb and in that drainage."

Members of the Kirksville Airport and Transportation Commission gave a unanimous approval to support changing the lane.

Crawford says she will now talk to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

She adds that because the change is in MoDOT's right of way, it doesn't need approval from Kirksville Council.

However, MoDOT does appreciate the support from the city.

Balliew echoes that sentiment, and says the city is doing its part to move those projects ahead.

"If you see work being done on Baltimore, we are prepping for that. We are getting all of the water main in, getting that replaced so that the street doesn't have to be dug up again once they fix it. We are really studying hard and working hard to get this piece of road fixed."

Overall, city officials say they are pleased with the communication taking place in hopes of improving Baltimore Street in the near future.




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