Ribbon Cutting at 3:30

For weeks the new traffic light at 135th St. and Wornall Rd. flashed red. But when the traffic light began displaying green recently, it was an indicator that Phase II Construction on 135th St. was over. With the laying of the green sod and shrubs, and the working traffic light, 135th St. welcomed passengers into beautiful, downtown Martin City.

After almost a year of torn up streets, orange cones, and detour driving, 135th Street, from Holmes Rd. to Wornall Rd., is now a smoothly paved, expanded street complete with new gutters, curbing, sidewalks, lighting and landscaping.

“We are very excited,” says Martin City Community Improvements District (MC-CID) Executive Director Missy Wilson.

An October 24th ribbon cutting will celebrate the completion of Phase II, which began October 19 of last year. At 3:30 p.m. various local and state officials will help cut the ribbon in front of RC’s, 330 E 135 St. Community activities will proceed at 5 p.m. with pumpkin painting at Rosehill Gardens, a vintage car show at 200 E 135th St., and food trucks. Other activities are still being planned at the time of publication.

Phase II is part of a $5.8 million project that included replacing a 12-inch water main between Oak St. and Wornall Rd and installing a new storm water drainage system. “Next Spring’s rain won’t make us feel like we need to pull a boat out,” laughs Wilson.

Curbs, sidewalks, on-street parallel parking, street lights and road resurfacing followed. The new traffic light was installed at the intersection of 135th St. and Wornall Rd. Phase I, which was completed two years ago, included the same improvements from Holmes Rd. to Oak St.

“We are very grateful for the Kansas City residents who supported all the businesses during construction,” said Wilson. “We have some very loyal patrons for sure.”

She also expressed gratitude to the councilmen “past and present” who approved funding for the project and J.M. Fahey Construction and the City of Kansas City for keeping traffic moving.

Despite the best efforts, however, some businesses experienced a lull in traffic.
Curtis Stroud, owner of Rosehill Gardens and an MC-CID board member, said the retail side of his business experienced a drop in sales during construction.

“There’s not a whole lot you can do,” he said. “We worked with them to keep things open and usable.”

Stroud, whose business provides the landscaping and flower arrangements hanging from the light poles, says there are still improvements to be done. He envisions benches and perhaps improved landscape grading after the first of the year, provided it is approved by the board.

“But it’s done for now,” he says. “And I’m happy with it.”

“It looks good,” he says.

The final phase, Phase III, is seeking funding. It will continue the same construction from Wornall Rd. to 150 Hwy, installing curbing, sidewalks, light poles, and water mains. When that happens, Wilson foresees residents from surrounding neighborhoods, such as New Castle, taking a stroll or biking to Martin City businesses.

She also sees more businesses in the area as well. “When the private sector sees the public sector making investments, they make investments too,” she says.

“It’s all positive!” she says.

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