Archive for Thursday, May 27, 2004

Grant process gives City Council second chance at Lexington Avenue

May 27, 2004

The De Soto City Council got a second chance to get what it wanted out of the Lexington Avenue improvement project.

Given a list of possible projects for the city's 2005 Community Development Block Grant project, the Council selected an improvement that would install a sidewalk along Lexington Avenue from Commerce Lane to a site adjacent to Lexington Trails Middle School.

The city's annual CDBG grants typically total about $100,000 and a 10-percent local match is expected.

At its May 6 meeting, the Council considered design features for this summer's Lexington Avenue improvement project. That project's base features, as listed in the city's capital improvement plan, calls for resurfacing the street from Kill Creek to 91st Street, installing three-foot asphalt shoulders, construction of traffic-control curbs, and placing gutters in front of businesses without those features, and adding a sidewalk from Kill Creek to the middle school vicinity.

In addition, several on the City Council urged the inclusion of bike lanes, which required another foot of asphalt shoulder on both sides of the street, at the cost of $32,000.

All that was more than the project's $1.08 million budget could sustain. Adding to the squeeze was the need to a tunnel through the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant railroad spur should the sidewalk run adjacent to Lexington. That item carried an estimated $54,000 price tag for construction and another $15,000 for engineering.

The May 6 meeting ended with the Council agreeing to bid the project's base scope, while allowing contractors add on the bike lanes in an alternate bid. The hope was the Council would get bids attractive enough to include the $34,000 bike lanes, he said.

Paying for a section of the sidewalk through the CDBG process allowed the Council to do that portion of the project as it wanted. At the earlier meeting, the Council reluctantly agreed to a plan that would have had the section of sidewalk from Commerce Lane to the middle school cross city-owned land across the street from the east Y rather than parallel to Lexington Avenue.

At the time, City Councilman Tim Maniez expressed concern about constructing a sidewalk that would encourage children to play on the railroad spur. Councilwoman Linda Zindler said last week that the recent death of a Bonner Spirngs' boy in a railroad accident only underscored that concern.

Brungardt estimated the sidewalk section and the tunnel would cost about $152,000 (with engineering costs). Paying for the project from the CDBG process would also reduce this summer's expense on the Lexington Avenue project by $82,000.

The downside is that the work wouldn't be completed until next year. Paperwork needed in the grant application process generally delays construction until the late summer or fall.

Other alternatives Brungardt gave the Council for consideration of CDBG funding were:

  • The replacement of deteriorated 83rd Street ADA accessible sidewalks from Peoria to Shawnee Streets with a retaining wall on the north side of the street from Peoria to Wea and on the south side adjacent to 33115 W. 83rd St.
  • Resurfacing of select sections of the city's more rural streets.
  • Connecting Golden Lane to Lexington Avenue.
  • Base renovations to the third floor of City Hall to prepare it for future use.

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