Work will soon begin for the Route V / Polk Street realignment project.

A preconstruction meeting was scheduled for this afternoon (Wednesday), involving the Missouri Department of Transportation, the city of Chillicothe and APAC, which is serving as project contractor. Some of APAC's equipment was brought to site yesterday.

The project involves closing down the Route V / Bridge Street bridge over the IC&E railroad tracks, and building a new bridge on Polk Street (north of the existing bridge) to better handle Route V traffic. In order to do so, the existing Polk Street would be extended on east to hook up with Route V.

Several homes were affected by the new road construction, and have been purchased by MoDOT.

Constructing a direct route eliminates issues involving sight limitations, multiple levels of gradation and sharp turns, city officials say. Currently, motorists traveling Polk Street who want to connect with Route V must travel on Broadway and Bridge streets, and navigate a series of 90-degree turns.­