The gap that’s existed in Shoal Creek Parkway — the one between North Woodland Avenue and North Harrison Street — has finally been bridged.
City leaders officially opened the parkway extension to traffic Friday afternoon.
The parkway’s two beds of fresh pavement carry two lanes of one-way traffic as well as a bike lane on either side of a wide median. Both sides will have sidewalks when completed.
Additional landscaping and aesthetic work will be done in the fall. Outside of that, the half-mile, $2.8 million stretch of road is finally open to Northlanders.
The project, which began in late 2013, is the third installment of a parkway plan that’s been more than two decades in the making.
The section between North Harrison Street and North Oak Trafficway is the oldest, dating to the 1990s. The parkway section running east of North Woodland Avenue, which hugs the south side of the Staley High School campus and ends at Northeast 108th Street, was built in 2007. In November 2013, construction was completed on the section between North Oak Trafficway and U.S. 169.
With the latest extension, all that’s left is to connect Shoal Creek Parkway from its most eastern point — just south of Staley High School — to Interstate 435.
That extension was scheduled to be discussed Tuesday by the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners.
City officials lauded the expanded parkway’s increased ability to support traffic from the high school, which had been moving along Northeast 106th Street.
Those vehicles posed a hazard to Fox Hill Elementary students on Northeast 106th, said Mark McHentry, director of Kansas City Missouri Parks and Recreation.
What’s more, there’s a new high school planned for the area on Northeast 108th Street, which the now continuous parkway is finally ready to handle.