by Mary WilsonWhile the US 71 Frontage Roads Study determined the City of Grandview to be be at a disadvantage when trying to attract tenants and developments along the new I-49 corridor, Grandview’s Board of Aldermen voted unanimously last week to begin steps toward phase one of conversion to two-way roads. According to the study, a two-way frontage road system will improve the ease of navigation and business access/visibility, promote neighborhood cohesion, reduce transportation costs to citizens and reduce emissions.
“This will ultimately enhance Grandview’s competitive position for economic development and expand the local tax base,” said City Engineer Jackie White.
The first phase of the outer roadway conversion project will convert the I-49 outer roadways to two-way traffic from Blue Ridge to Main Street. This will require building ramps from I-49 to Main Street to enhance accessibility. The outer road at Main Street will be realigned to 15th Street to the west with a new road between Booth Lane and Beacon Avenue. Parts of existing High Grove Road, Goode and 129th Street will also be utilized as new outer roads. The existing U-turn bridge at Main Street will be removed.
Missouri Department of Transportation is designing the project improvements as previously agreed to in the Project Cost Participation and Road Relinquishment Agreement. The project is to be constructed with a maximum of $5 million of federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds from the Federal Highway Administration.
The actual amount of reimbursable funds received is based upon 80% of the construction cost up to the maximum allowed. The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission oversees the handling of the federal funds to the City. Part of the Commission’s responsibility is to insure that the project meets a variety of federal laws.
“We will receive back eighty-percent of the actual payments to the contractor,” said White. “We will pay the bills and then MoDOT reimburses us up to that $5 million. When that is spent, then it all comes from local City funds.”
The ordinance the Aldermen approved on Tuesday, July 28, authorized the execution of the STP-Urban Agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission. The funds will not be available for disbursement until October 2017.
“The way that we are hoping it works out is that we will send the project out for bid around that time,” said White. “So, we could see construction begin as early as Fall 2017 or early 2018. We do have to purchase some right-of-way in certain areas.”
With the design being done by MoDOT, according to White, they will control the timeline.
The Aldermen also approved two other ordinances. The first is an ordinance with Select Construction Enterprises for the relocation of a steel bridge that previously spanned over the Blue River on 40 Highway. Both MoDOT and city staff agree that the bridge is historically significant and can be reused as a pedestrian structure on a city park trail over the Little Blue River.
The City of Grandview applied for and received $320,000 of Transportation Alternative Program funds through the Mid America Regional Council for the relocation and restoration of the bridge for this purpose. The project has been split into two phases: to relocate the bridge and to restore it for pedestrian purposes. Any funds not used in the relocation of the bridge can be used for rehabilitation. The bridge will be moved from its current location to Grandview before the end of September 2015.
An ordinance for a subdivision agreement with PG, LLC, was also approved. This second plat of Sunrise Farms will be a development of forty homes on nearly 11 acres south of 143rd Street and east of Byars Road. The developer will complete this portion of the project with single-family residential lots as it was envisioned with the current Conceptual Development Plan for the area, in hopes that the new lots will join the existing homeowners association.