Some creative math may add up to good things for School Road in Cass County.
By DONALD BRADLEY
The Kansas City Star
For years, the road has served as a primary route for students at Raymore-Peculiar High School. But also for years, parents worried about safety because the road is narrow, hilly and without shoulders. Several accidents have occurred.
A plan proposed by Cass County Presiding Commissioner Jeff Cox could finally bring improvements that parents have clamored for.
Cox’s plan, which he unveiled last week to Peculiar officials, calls for the county to join with Peculiar and Raymore in a $5.5 million project to widen the road, add shoulders, take out the dips and add turn lanes. If approved, the work could begin later this year and be completed in 2015.
“It needed improvement 20 years ago,” Cox said. “I know because I used to drive it when I went to Ray-Pec.”
The work would be done in three phases with the county paying 68 percent of the total cost. Peculiar would chip in 22 percent and Raymore the final 10 percent.
Peculiar Mayor Ernie Jungmeyer said his city has been waiting for a cooperative plan for years and already has $800,000 set aside for Peculiar’s share to improve the road’s safety.
“During the day, nine months a year, there’s about 5,000 people who show up at the school complex and a lot of them are first-time drivers,” Jungmeyer said Monday. “Parents have been waiting a long time for this.”
Part of the cities’ contribution would be through the county’s quarter-cent road and bridge sales tax. The cities would forgo their share of the proceeds for three years. Those amounts would be $155,733 for Peculiar and $546,104 for Raymore.
Peculiar would also pick up half of the cost of phase 3 because part of it is within its city limits. The county would use its share of sales tax money and about $2.2 million in bond money to cover the remaining costs.
Phase 1 would be Hubach Hill Road to 195th Street and cost $1.7 million. Phase 2 covers 195th Street to 203rd Street also at a cost of $1.7 million. Phase 3, at about $2.1 million, competes the project south to 211th Street.
The road would be widened from 20 feet to 24 feet with turn lanes added at intersections. Hills and dips would be lessened to improve sight lines. The surface would be asphalt and include curbs and gutters.
Cox said he received positive feedback from the Peculiar Board of Aldermen.
“It will likely be on their April 15 meeting agenda for first reading,” he said.
Cox, a former member of the Raymore City Council, said he would present the plan to Raymore officials on April 15.
“The pitch I would make to Raymore is that if there is ever a time to spend money outside the city limits, this is it,” Cox said.
To reach Donald Bradley, call 816-234-4182 or send email to email@example.com.