Archive for Thursday, May 8, 2008

City seeks Johnson County help with 2009 83rd Street upgrade

The city has received word from Sunflower Redevelopment LLC that it can consider raising the roadway at the traffic-slowing railroad crossing at the Commerce Drive and Lexington Avenue intersection.

The city has received word from Sunflower Redevelopment LLC that it can consider raising the roadway at the traffic-slowing railroad crossing at the Commerce Drive and Lexington Avenue intersection.

May 8, 2008

As it officially applied for matching county funds for a nearly $1 million upgrade to 83rd Street next year, the city of De Soto agreed to help make the street safer in the short term.

The De Soto City Council approved a bid to improve areas frequently flooded during heavy rains. The two areas of work include a nearly 150-foot section about 300 feet west of Waverly Road and a section of about the same length just west of Corliss Road.

City engineer Mike Brungardt said the work will involve milling away the curbs on what was once Kansas Highway 10 and 4-foot swath at the edge of the roadway to give it more slope. That with drainage ditch improvements would get the city through until large-scale improvements to the road are completed next year, Brungardt said.

The council agreed to accept the $9,058 bid from Musselman & Hall Contractors of Kansas City, Mo., to mill the curb and road surface. The city will spend an additional $2,000 for new asphalt on the sections, Brungardt said.

That $12,000 project cost pales to the $890,000 the city plans to spend in 2009 on 83rd Street from the East Y to the east city limits. That project on the city's capital improvement plan for 2009 will include repair of the underlying concrete, resurfacing, shoulder grading, improved signage and vegetation removal to improve sight lines.

The council last Thursday approved a resolution to make application for $417,000 for the project from the Johnson County CARS program. It would be the first project in De Soto to get funding from the county revenue-sharing program since the Lexington Avenue resurfacing in 2004.

Brungardt said he was confident the application would be approved because the program was structured to redeem cities revenue their fuel taxes provided and because of the nature of the project.

Mayor Dave Anderson he said Matt Dennis of Sunflower Redevelopment LLC about the Commerce Drive intersection off the K-10 ramp. Dennis said Sunflower Redevelopment, which now owns the old railroad to the plant, would allow the city to bury the tracks entering K-Ten Commercial Park as a way of ridding the roadway of the large dip just east of Lexington Avenue.

Anderson said the Sunflower Redevelopment official did ask that the city agree to allow the development ground to reestablish the railway at that location should the railroad be part of some future proposal for Sunflower.

Last year, Brungardt was told by Sunflower Redevelopment executive director Kise Randall the developers would be willing to let the city change the grade of at the crossing at the city's expense. That change would require construction of gradual slopes to the rail line north and south of the raised crossing.

Brungardt said that solution would cost about $300,000. It would raise the crossing from 6 to 8 feet, which would require grade changes to the railroad about a quarter mile in both directions.

On a related note, Brungardt said Randall agreed the Sunflower Redevelopment would reimburse the city for the cost of replacing railroad ties at the Ottawa Street crossing when that street is resurfaced this year.

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