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McCleary Road is officially open

The Excelsior Springs Standard of Excelsior Springs, Missouri

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The very first motorists used the newly-redone McCleary Road shortly after 10:30 a.m., minutes after city crews took down the "road closed" signs and gathered up the barrels that had blocked access to this shortcut between some of the city's newer housing developments and the quickly-growing U.S. 69 corridor.

The opening took place with little fanfare, especially considering that the project has been underway since spring, the road has been closed to traffic for months and the idea of straightening McCleary Road has been around for most of a decade.

In recent weeks, many had asked about the roadway's reopening, since to the layman's eye it appeared the project was finished.

However, Public Works Director Chad Birdsong said even after the main components of the road's redirection were complete, there was still utility work occurring adjacent to the roadway. The utility workers were parking along McCleary Road, which would have been impossible with normal traffic. More recently, crews were removing a small hill and transporting the dirt to the other side of the roadway, which evened out the terrain and made the new VA Clinic, scheduled to be finished as early as February, much more visible from U.S. 69.

On Monday, Birdsong said he thought the street could be re-opened this week, after traffic signals were coordinated. The opening took place just half an hour after Birdsong's predicted 10 a.m. time frame.

Next up on the project list is connecting Vintage Drive from its current dead end northeast of McDonald's on through to a stubbed-in intersection with McCleary Road. That will take place in the spring, according to Birdsong, as soon as the weather allows. Financing is also still being sought for an eight-screen movie theatre.

Copyright 2009 The Excelsior Springs Standard, Excelsior Springs, Missouri. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: December 25, 2009

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