The anticipation and the speculation have all but disappeared.

And there is hardly anyone who calls Maryville home, or frequents our community, who can question the end result of what has been one of the city’s major improvement projects over the past year.

What was initially envisioned as an improvement of the main connector route between Maryville’s Downtown and the Northwest Missouri State University campus seemingly took on a life of its own as the construction progressed.

Originally scheduled to have been completed by the end of 2014’s construction season, the actual opening was postponed by weather and other impediments — basically until today.

And what an improvement it is.

For those who have not been in the area as the project daily moved nearer completion during the past month, the thoroughfare features a newly widened, and resurfaced, street from North Main west to the reconfigured intersection of Fourth and North Dunn streets, a main entrance to the Northwest campus.

That particular intersection has been reconfigured from its historic triangle setup to a more traditional — and much safer — design.  

The new intersection has also been landscaped, as the entire length of the corridor has been, with numerous trees and shrubs, along with new sod in spots where the new water line and sidewalks resulted in tearing up old grass.

The project cost of approximately $1.7 million has been shared by the city, the university and substantial proceeds from the Missouri Department of Transportation and the state Department of Economic Development.

Truly a cooperative effort.

As the entire project has been since its inception.

The Maryville City Council deserves compliments for its vision in not only listening to the original, sketchy plans presented by City Manager Greg McDanel, but for maintaining its support of the plan when several “roadblocks” that could have halted the entire project were encountered, and resolved in a timely and orderly manner.

Mayor Renee Riedel is the lone member of the city council who held a council seat in the project’s earliest stages, and she, too, deserves substantial credit for keeping her newer colleagues focused on the end goal.

Orr Wyatt Streetscapes of Kansas City is also in line for a huge ‘thank you” for its attention to detail, and to schedule, at times when it must have seemed to workers, and area residents as well, that the project would never end. 

But it is now complete, for all practical purposes, and the city has every reason to be proud.

It was a cooperative effort that could well have fallen short of its original goal, but instead was shepherded to completion through a truly gargantuan effort.

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