December 8, 2017

Plans to widen Holmes Rd. introduced this week

By John Sharp

Ordinances to complete the improvements to 135th St. and to design improvements to Holmes Rd. from Blue Ridge Blvd. to 137th St. were expected to be introduced Thursday, November 30, for consideration by the KCMO City Council and could be approved the following week.

The 135th St. ordinance authorizes a roughly two and a half million dollar contract with JM Fahey Construction Company to continue the improvements already constructed between Holmes and Wornall Rds. west to 150 Highway.

The project will include street widening and repaving; installation of curbs and gutters, sidewalks (on both sides of the street), storm sewers and streetlights; and water line spot repairs and adjustments.  Work on the project should start in late winter or early spring and be completed late in 2018, according to Chad Thompson, assistant city engineer.

Thompson said the 5-foot wide north side sidewalk will transition to a 10-foot wide trail from just west of Wyandotte on to 150 Highway.

The Holmes Rd. ordinance authorizes a contract for approximately $420,000 with Shafer, Kline and Warren to complete the final design of anticipated improvements, including street widening and installation of curbs and gutters, sidewalks, storm sewers and streetlights.  Thompson said it should take about a year to a year and a half to complete the design.

No funds have been appropriated yet for right-of-way acquisition or construction for this project, although funds for right-of-way acquisition during the city’s 2018-19 fiscal year could be recommended by the Public Improvements Advisory Committee I serve on and be approved by the City Council for that year’s budget.

Kenneth Rd. Bridge

On another construction project of area interest, the city is awaiting federal and state approval to construct a new bridge over the Blue River on Kenneth Rd. to finally reconnect the Missouri and Kansas portions of the road that will allow access to the nearby Jackson County polo and soccer fields from 151st St. in Johnson County.

The first phase of the project started over a year ago in October 2016 when a ceremony I participated in kicked off the removal of a portable one-lane, wooden-decked Bailey bridge that had been closed for years after it was hit by a truck.  (Grandview removed the dilapidated bridge to repair and use as a pedestrian trail bridge.)  That bridge itself was a replacement for the previous bridge which was damaged beyond repair when it also was hit by a truck.

The alignment of the longer new two-lane bridge with a pedestrian walkway on the north side will be straighter and wider which should reduce the likelihood of similar wrecks.  

Thompson said the new bridge also should be high enough to be above flood waters.  The old bridge would have been overtopped by our most recent severe flooding, he said.  

The new alignment will require use of some park land from the adjacent Jackson County park.  Thompson said since federal funds were used to help purchase the park land, federal approval is needed for a land swap to replace the land being acquired with other city-owned property adjoining the park.  He said the city is currently waiting for that approval.

He explained the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) also must approve plans for the project since Jackson County allocated funds it received from MoDOT for the project.  He said he anticipates that review will take place in December.

Thompson said if federal and state approvals are received soon, the project estimated to cost more than $4 million should be finished in 2018.  He said construction should take about eight months.

Grandview, Jackson County, KCMO, MoDOT, Overland Park and the Village of Loch Lloyd all cooperated on the joint project which is being managed by KCMO.

City councilmen Scott Taylor and Kevin McManus along with Missouri State Rep. DaRon McGee pose with Santa during the Martin City Holiday Lighting Celebration. Photo by Bill Rankin.

KCI Update

Patrick Klein, KCMO director of Aviation, told me in an interview November 20 that he hopes a groundbreaking for the new single passenger terminal to be constructed at Kansas City International Airport will take place by the end of next summer and that financing for the project can be finalized by the end of September.

Klein said Terminals A and B will be demolished as part of the project, along with the Terminal A parking garage.  (The new 35 gate terminal, expandable to 42 gates, will be built on the site of Terminal A which has been closed for several years.)

He said the Terminal B parking garage will be used for employee parking, and a final decision hasn’t been made yet on what will be done with Terminal C and its parking garage.

Klein said a new parking garage will contain about 6,500 parking spaces, and that commercial traffic will be directed to the new garage, not the new terminal, once they are constructed.  Private arrival and departure terminal traffic, he said, will be on different levels.

During a formal presentation to the Kansas City Economic Development Corporation Advocacy Council preceding my interview, Klein said he expects a measure to approve a memorandum of understanding with Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate, the selected developer for the project, to be introduced November 30 for city council approval.  He said it will be reviewed by the council’s Airport Committee, and he expects it to be approved this year.

Also speaking at the presentation, Daniel Moylan, Edgemoor development manager, said federally required environmental assessments for the project will take six months to a year, and he hopes the new terminal will be opened during the 4th quarter of 2021.

Moylan said about 10 percent of the terminal design work has now been completed.

South Kansas City residents will have an opportunity to give their input on terminal design at a community design workshop hosted by Edgemoor from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 14, at the South Patrol Police Station, 9701 Marion Park Dr.  Similar workshops are being held in the other five city council districts, and Moylan said one also will be held at Johnson County Community College to get input from Kansas residents who use the airport.

New Restaurant

The third new restaurant at Ward Parkway Shopping Center’s southside restaurant pavilion, MidiCi, the Neopolitan Pizza Company, opened Friday, November 24.

MidiCi, which fronts on the pavilion’s covered outdoor plaza, bakes pizzas in less than two minutes at 900 degrees in wood-fired Italian ovens.  Its pizza dough is made with only four ingredients – non-gmo flour, water, sea salt and yeast.  It suggests patrons eat its Neopolitan pizzas that come with a thin, soft and chewy crust “the true Italian way, with a fork and knife”.

Its menu includes appetizers, burratas, salads, Neopolitan and specialty pizzas, desserts, an Italian coffee bar, gourmet teas, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages.

The two restaurants which had opened earlier this fall at the pavilion are Smitty’s Garage which features all types of burgers and fresh-cut French fries and Charleston’s which offers made-from-scratch traditional American classics.

A fourth restaurant, Freezing Rolls, a locally owned Thai-style ice cream shop, is expected to open in spring 2018, and another restaurant announcement is expected soon.

The hOUR Project

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is offering businesses and organizations a traffic safety presentation that takes about one hour which stresses the importance of keeping employees safe while working in company vehicles and when driving to and from work.

Noting that motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of workers, the presentation covers seat belt and cell phone usage and policies, as well as the risks from aggressive and drowsy driving.

Organizations and companies may contact Kelly Jackson at Kelly.Jackson@modot.mo.gov for more information or to arrange a presentation.

Christmas in the Park

People can still enjoy Jackson County’s recently opened 30th annual Christmas in the Park attraction by Longview Lake featuring 175 animated Christmas displays with more than 300,000 lights nightly through New Year’s Eve.

The drive through event on the east side of the lake is open from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.  Admission is free, but donations benefitting 39 area charities are accepted.

Persons can access the event by taking I-470 to View High Dr., going south on View High to the stoplight at 3rd St./Longview Park Dr., turning right and following the signs to the entrance to the display at the Frank White, Jr., Softball Complex.

Open House

Wayside Waifs, a nonprofit no kill animal shelter at 390l Martha Truman Rd., is hosting its annual holiday open house from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, December 9.

Santa will be available from 10 a.m. to noon to pose for photos with pets and families, and guests also can enjoy refreshments and shelter tours.

All pet adoptions that day are only $50, and the shelter regularly has more than 300 adoptable animals available.  The agency places approximately 5,400 animals annually, according to its website.

Blood Drive

The Red Bridge Branch of Mid-Continent Public Library at 11140 Locust in the Red Bridge Shopping Center is sponsoring a blood drive for the American Red Cross from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, December 15.

Persons interested in donating blood should make an appointment online at www.redcrossblood.org.  They may call the Red Cross toll free at 866-236-3276 if they have any eligibility questions.

Eligible donors need to be at least 17 years old or 16 with written parental consent, weigh at least 110 pounds and generally be feeling well the day of their donation.  Donors should allow an hour for their donation and bring any form of photo ID with them.

The Martin City Telegraph held its ribbon cutting ceremony and open house November 16 at their new quarters, 13356 Holmes Rd. Photo by Bill Rankin.

Home Decorating Contest

The Martin City Telegraph along with Rosehill Gardens and Euston Hardware will be sponsoring the First Annual Home for the Holidays Decorating Contest. Prizes for best decorated house/yard include a $100 cash prize from the Telegraph, $100 gift certificate from Rosehill Gardens, and a $100 gift certificate from  Euston Hardware. There will be three winners determined by each business. To participate, email your name, address and phone number to martincitytelegraph@gmail.com. Or fill out the form found on page 12. Registrations must be filed by December 20. The winners will be announced December 22 with printed in the December 26 issue of the Telegraph.

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