Thursday, July 12, 2012

Expansion Continues Along 150

By Paul Thompson

After years of planning, the time for results has finally arrived for the 150 Highway corridor near 71 Highway.

By January 2013, 71 Highway will be known as I-49, Grand Summit Apartments will have added over 400 new units to their complex, and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will officially begin a move of epic proportions from its Bannister Federal Complex to 150 Highway.

These high profile projects were all discussed at the Thursday, June 28 Economic Development Council (EDC) meeting held at the TrueValue warehouse in Grandview.

Honeywell Sr. Director of Transformation Rick Lavelock joined Grandview’s business leaders to give an update new NNSA facility being constructed along 150 Highway and Botts Road.

According to Lavelock, the scope of the project is immense. There are currently over 1,000 construction jobs being filled at the site, with $1.9 million is being spent every day on the project. The total investment for the facility is now estimated at $1.134 billion, which includes $429 million in federal dollars to go with $705 million in private investments. The NNSA plans to begin their relocation from their current site at the Bannister Federal Complex in January 2013. The relocation is expected to take a whopping 19 months, and won’t finish until August 2014. And that’s with two crews working 10-hour shifts, five days a week, dedicated entirely to the move. Honeywell predicts that in total, approximately 3,200 trailer loads will be moved between the sites. The relocation will require the employment of 2,600 contractors, whose collective payroll and benefits will exceed $300 million.

“This really is a great national asset,” said Lavelock of the new facility.

The NNSA campus will be a great asset locally as well. The site was previously a soy bean field that earned the Grandview C-4 School District $600 in tax dollars per year. The new NNSA facility will bring in $1.2 million in tax revenue to the school district, representing a gain of $1,199,400 in revenue.


Employees at NNSA looking for nearby housing will have new options as well, and Lindsey Management is being aggressive in their efforts to market the Grand Summit Apartments as that destination.

Grand Summit will add a new subdivision called “The Fairways,” featuring 456 new apartments with upgraded amenities. The complex, located off 150 Highway, already features two swimming pools, tennis courts, and an 18-hole golf course.

“There’ll be another fitness center, a third pool, and a banquet area for parties,” Jonathan Hopmann, with Lindsey Management, announced at the EDC meeting. “We’re doing several upgrades, mostly in the kitchen. We’re going to get new appliances, counter tops, and cabinets.”

Lindsey Management will also be responsible for upgrades to Corrington Ave., which will connect the extension of Grand Summit Blvd. within the complex to 155th St. on the south. Corrington Ave. would be built to city standards and become a public street.

Hoppman cited heavy market demand as a chief reason for the new subdivision, set to open in December 2012 or January 2013. According to Hoppman, the complex has been at or near 100% occupancy for several years running.


The Missouri Department of Transportation also presented updates for the 150 Highway & Botts Road interchange, and the conversion of 71 Highway to I-49.

MoDOT is installing an innovative design known as a diverging diamond interchange at Botts Road and 150 Highway to accommodate traffic in-and-out of the NNSA facility.

The diverging diamond interchange is designed to increase traffic flow and eliminate left turns through opposing traffic. It is unique, though, because it requires drivers to pass over to the opposite side of the street as they pass through intersections. MoDOT has been a champion of the design ever since they completed the first version of it in the country in Springfield, Missouri.

Drivers should get an opportunity to test the diverging diamond sooner rather than later, as construction is currently wrapping up on the project.

“The completion date of that is September of this year,” said MoDOT Transportation Project Manager Jeff Hardy at the meeting.

Hardy also provided updates regarding 71 Highway’s upcoming conversion into an interstate, to be called I-49. MoDOT is already prepping 71 for the conversion. Once the interstate change-over is completed, Hardy reiterated MoDOT’s plans to proceed with a refurbishment of the Main Street Bridge, probably sometime in 2014.

But for now, I-49 is a top priority.

“We’re going to resurface 71. You should see that this summer,” said Hardy of the future I-49. “As for the conversion of US-71 and I-49, my understanding is that the completion date will be 12/12/12.”

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