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Paws Mark Path to Bearcat Country

DecoMark® Preformed Thermoplastic

A two-man crew is working this week to apply a finishing touch to the new West Fourth Street streetscape — a $1.9 million project undertaken by the city of Maryville in partnership with Northwest Missouri State University.

By the end of Thursday, depending on the weather, workers from Riverside-based K&G Striping are expected to have installed 90 two-color Northwest Bearcat paws down the middle of the roadway, making it appear as if a giant Bobby Bearcat — Northwest’s mascot — has taken 40-foot strides while walking from the courthouse square to Bearcat Stadium.

The paws, manufactured from preformed thermoplastic, are glued on top of square insets cut into the pavement. Attached to the street with two-part epoxy primer, the paws are then heated with a handheld propane torch then immediately sprinkled with sand-like reflective glass beads.

City Manager Greg McDanel said the tiny beads serve both to make the paws easier to see at night and easier to keep clean.

McDanel added that the thermoplastic material was chosen for its durability, and that a test paw installed in May near the intersection of Main and Fourth was subjected to numerous power-washings and run over several times with a snow plow before officials decided to proceed with the project.

Durability was an important consideration, because unlike the painted paws stenciled onto Fourth Street for years, the new logos, each bearing the Northwest “N,” don’t come cheap.

The university is picking up the tab for the paws, which at $480 each have a total cost of $43,200, according to Brandon Stanley, Northwest’s vice president of university marketing and communication.

Northwest’s total contribution to the Fourth Street corridor comes to just under $270,000, Stanley said, and included a portion of project engineering costs, the gateway arch at Fourth and Buchanan, and medallions and signage bearing university marks.

The school is also paying for six “wayfinding” monuments along Main Street designed to direct motorists and pedestrians traveling toward the new corridor, which is intended to serve as both a physical and aesthetic link between downtown and the main entrance to campus.

The monuments will be 15 feet high with 5-foot decorative brick pedestals designed to match similar structures along West Fourth. Each sign is to include a university medallion, flag and directional indicators pointing to the new corridor.

Proposed sign locations include Ninth and Main, Seventh and Main, Fifth and Main, Third and Main, First and Main and Cooper and Main.

Cost of the signage, which is to be installed by Orr Wyatt Streetscapes, is estimated at a little more than $66,000.

Orr Wyatt also served as general contractor for the overall Fourth Street initiative, which included a paved pedestrian trail, the arch, vintage-style street lighting, decorative masonry and retaining walls, new underground infrastructure and landscaping.

Paw Print