Friday, Feb. 01 2013 8:48AM
Progress for other projects
By Russ Pulley
Lee’s Summit Road is one of six projects listed for the 2007 renewal of half-cent sales tax.
As the city starts getting right-of-way for that project, it also is making some progress on the others.
Deputy Director of Public Works Dena Mezger said the city is moving slower on building roads in this cycle of the tax. There is a mix of reasons, she said.
Negotiating with the railroad for the several projects that cross tracks takes time; the economic downturn played a role too.
Pressure to improve a small section of Ward Road south of Missouri 150 evaporated when the housing bubble popped. It was proposed to bear traffic expected from the Kensington Farms development which intended to build 600 to 700 homes.
“None of that has happened to date,” Mezger said. “We want to wait a while and see what happens.”
That project likely will be built in the next two or three years, but the city might adjust its design if traffic doesn’t develop as predicted, she said.
The economy also slowed the amount sales tax being collected available for the projects.
Mezger said the city adjusted its pace to “pay as you go” and to watch trends.
Widening Chipman Road to three lanes between View High Drive and Bent Tree Drive is in limbo until Jackson County finishes negotiations with the Union Pacific over a mass transit plan.
The county might seek an election in August for a 1-cent sales tax to finance construction of commuter rail, express buses and trails. The former Rock Island Railroad corrider, which crosses Chipman, would be a major piece.
So taking out a one-lane bottleneck under the railroad overpass on Chipman Road is on hold.
Hook Road design is being done in-house and right of way acquisition is expected early in 2013.
Bailey Road, between Missouri 291 and Hamblen Road, is complete up to the west of the railroad. The city recently finished negotiations with the railroad for building a bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. This month the city is taking bids for construction.
Widening Jefferson Street between Stuart and Persels roads (three lanes from Scherer to Persels) is under design with land acquisition beginning this year and construction to begin in 2014.