Western's joins pitch to expand Highway 63

Western's Meat Market presented to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission Wednesday (Geoffrey Woehlk/KTVO)

The push to expand Highway 63 north of Kirksville picked up steam Wednesday with a major local business pressing MoDOT for action.

At a meeting of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission held in Kirksville Wednesday morning, two groups asked the commission to once again consider adding lanes to Highway 63 between Kirksville and the Iowa border.

The proposal is nothing new from the Highway 63 Corridor Coalition, led on the Missouri side by Harriet Beard. Beard spearheaded the Alternate Route 63 initiative, and the four-lane expansion between Kirksville and Macon.

The conversation over making the highway four lanes has been going off and on for nearly a decade, if not longer. Wednesday, Beard’s coalition, and her Iowa counterpart Joy Evans, pitched a four-lane proposal that would match the one already completed between Kirksville and Macon that bears Beard’s name.

But Western’s Meat Market also presented on its own to the commission, endorsing a plan to at least add turning lanes to the stretch of highway near its location in Greentop. Owner Sam Western cited increased commercial and farm usage along the road as the chief reason he would like to see an additional lane. He estimated that 10-15 semi trucks enter his business every day from the two-lane highway.

Other topics covered during the meeting included a presentation by Kirksville city officials, who briefed the commission once again on the deteriorating condition of Baltimore Street. MoDOT plans to turn its attention to the street in earnest over the next five years.

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