Two projects in the works promise to improve life on the road for motorists, bus riders, pedestrians and cyclists in the Interstate 29 corridor — but completion is about two years away.
The work is planned in the areas of Missouri 45 and Northwest 72nd Street.
▪ Missouri 45: This project, in its second phase, involves relocating the west outer road of Interstate 29 south of Missouri 45 and adding an eastbound through lane on Route 45, also known as Northwest 64th Street.
“The problem is that the frontage road is too close to the interchange, so this will allow traffic to exit I-29 without backing up traffic,” said Wes Minder, manager of neighborhood design for the Kansas City Public Works Department.
“The outer road now is about 100 feet from the exit ramps. There’s been a higher incidence of accidents there in past three years. For everybody in Parkville and southern Platte County, that’s kind of the only way to get to I-29.”
About 40,000 cars a day travel on Missouri 45 at I-29, he said. The frontage road also is a bus route with stops that aren’t easily accessible, and the project will make using the route easier for transit riders.
The project also includes moving the west interchange ramps on I-29 and adding the eastbound through lane on Missouri 45 to Northwest Roanridge Road east of the interchange — plus adding bike lanes, a sidewalk, a roundabout at North Chatham Drive and street lights on the west outer road, Minder said.
The project is scheduled to start in the summer of 2016 and be completed sometime in 2017, he said. It has a $6.75 million budget, comprising a $2.75 million federal grant, $2 million from a private transportation development district at Tremont Square and $2 million from the city.
The project’s first phase, Minder said, relocated the outer road north of Missouri 45, which had been part of Chatham Drive, and made it part of Northwest Prairie View Road. It also included Platte County’s extension of the Southern Platte Pass Trail to the east side of I-29.
The new outer road cost $2.7 million and was financed through a special taxing district in Park Plaza, Minder said. It was completed in 2010 before the opening of a new Hy-Vee grocery and CVS Pharmacy on the north side of Missouri 45.
The trail extension, completed in 2012, cost about $1 million. A federal grant funded about two-thirds of the cost, and the county paid the remainder.
“We never had the money all at once, so we had to phase the funding and the work,” Minder said.
▪ Northwest 72nd Street: Road planners want to widen Northwest 72nd Street from two lanes to three from I-29 east to North Polk Avenue, adding a sidewalk on the south side of 72nd, building a roundabout at Overland Drive and adding street lights.
“It’s a narrow two-lane road, built back in the 1940s, and this project is designed to make it an urban street,” Minder said.
About 10,000 vehicles a day use the road, and it also serves Platte Woods and Lake Waukomis, he said.
The $4.5 million project is funded by a $2.5 million federal grant, $1 million from Platte County and $1 million from the city, which will pay to complete the design and buy right-of-way property, Minder said.
Work is expected to start late this year and be completed by early 2017.
Two hearings are scheduled to inform the public about the projects and seek their input. The projects’ plans will be on display, and representatives will be available to discuss tentative schedules for right-of-way acquisition and construction.
▪ Northwest 72nd Street project: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, English Landing Elementary School, 6500 N.W. Klamm Drive, Kansas City.
▪ I-29/Route 45 project: 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 14, Lakeview Middle School, 6720 N.W. 64th St., Kansas City.