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Feb. 1, 2017
The Fourth Street Improvement Project, a collaborative initiative completed by city of Maryville and Northwest Missouri State University, is now an award-winning one.
The city and University were honored today at the Missouri capitol building in Jefferson City by the Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association and its Great Places in Missouri program with the Great Street Award. Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel, Assistant City Manager Ryan Heiland, Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski and Dr. Patrick Harr, chair of Northwest’s Board of Regents, were on hand to accept the award.
“The Fourth Street Improvement Project serves as an avenue of community pride symbolizing the strong partnership between Northwest Missouri State and the city of Maryville,” McDanel said. “Improvements to the corridor created a high-functioning complete street with improved safety features and vibrant aesthetics. The Great Place designation is an honor for the community and those who turned vision into reality.”
Jasinski added, “The Fourth Street Improvement Project has been both a symbol and catalyst. It represents an enhanced and ongoing collaborative effort between the city of Maryville and Northwest Missouri State University and also serves as a metaphor for dynamic growth throughout the community and University. Further, the Fourth Street Improvement Project has been a catalyst for those thinking through possible partnerships, investments and growth strategies. It is a visual image that shows working together for a common good is indeed the right and smart thing to do.”
The Fourth Street Improvement Project – a $2 million effort – was designed to functionally and aesthetically enhance the six-block corridor of Fourth Street from Maryville’s downtown to the Northwest campus.
Plans for improving the corridor began in 2012 after it was identified as a critical need in Maryville’s Comprehensive Plan and the Downtown Strategic Plan. With goals of increasing accessibility and enhancing safety, the project improved traffic calming, landscaping, safety lighting and trail extensions and incorporated redevelopment of adjacent retail and housing.
When construction began in summer 2014, city and construction crews sought upgrades that extended beyond the street’s surface. A vacant residence along the corridor was demolished as part of the city’s continued efforts to remove blighted structures, water lines were replaced, deteriorated curb and gutter sections were replaced, and a triangle intersection outside the campus entrance was reconfigured to a more traditional and safer design.
Other enhancements to the thoroughfare included decorative lighting; an 8-foot wide bicycle-pedestrian, an ADA-compliant trail along the entire north side of the corridor; and brick pillars that match the downtown and University landscape. Newly planted trees and shrubs along the corridor also serve as an extension of the Northwest campus’ status as the home of the Missouri Arboretum.
The crowning feature of the project is a gateway arch at the intersection of Fourth and Buchanan streets that includes branded medallions. A medallion with a Northwest logo on one side of the arch welcomes passersby traveling west toward the campus, while a medallion with the city’s seal tops the opposite site of the arch as people travel east toward the downtown area.
After a year of construction, the refurbished corridor promptly became a source of community pride when it opened in spring 2015. It serves as a centerpiece for the Northwest Homecoming parade, Nodaway County Parade, Maryville Farmer’s Market and impromptu celebrations for athletic victories, public art, graduations and other community events.
Launched in 2014, the Great Places in Missouri program recognizes neighborhoods, streets and public spaces throughout Missouri that demonstrate exceptional character, quality and planning in an effort to enrich communities, facilitate economic growth, and inspire residents and visitors alike.
Two other projects were honored Wednesday as Great Places in Missouri. St. Louis’ Tower Grove Park received the Great Public Space Award, and downtown Kirkwood in St. Louis County received the Great Neighborhood Award.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
email@example.com | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468