Lee’s Summit is making steady progress on its lengthy list of road, water and other projects, although many remain in its Capital Improvements Plan and new projects are added to as needs arise.
Some projects, like the city’s second dog park, are still under construction but coming off the list because they’ll be completed by the start of the fiscal year in July.
Work on Dogwood Park has been delayed as the parks department shifted priority to getting Summit Waves ready to open for the season, said Gary Welty, superintendent of parks construction.
They’ll return to the dog park project after Memorial Day and depending on whether turf can be grown in the disturbed areas, it is to open this summer.
Other projects are dropped because conditions changed, for example, a planned sanitary sewer project in the Cedar Creek watershed isn’t necessary because other sewer projects proved to be alternatives for handling the waste water. An odor control system at the Tudor Road pump station wasn’t cost effective.
“Things change, priorities change,” said Mike Anderson, public works construction manager at a May 13 public hearing before the Lee’s Summit Planning Commission. The commission and city council have to endorse the plan each year to comply with state law, he said. The commissions approved it with little discussion.
Anderson said total estimated costs of the plan fell from about $395 million to $296 million, with some large water utility projects finished.
Some critics have complained the city is too slow in completing projects approved by voters, improvements to parts of Ward and Chipman roads being notable examples.
The city is getting closer to taking bids for widening Ward Road south of Missouri 150, while widening Chipman Road to take out a bottleneck under the former Rock Island Railroad bridge is on hold indefinitely.
Dena Mezger, deputy director of public works, said there are reasons for those delays.
The city is still waiting on the outcome of Jackson County trying to buy the old Rock Island Rail Road right-of-way, which would affect how the city approaches that project. As to Ward Road, the department is close to wrapping up its update of its Master Thoroughfare Plan, part of its purpose is to determine how many lanes are necessary for that project. She expects to have the information needed to start engineered design for Phase II of Ward Road in 2015.
Several major construction projects should get underway this year, Mezger said.
• Widening Hook Road between Ward Road and Missouri 291
• Reconstruction of Orchard Street
• Adding shoulders to Pryor Road
• A storm-water detention pond at 33rd Street and Ward Road
• Renovation of the WPA-era post office on West Main Street for a museum
Work will continue on Bailey and Tudor roads. The city also will take bids on realigning and reconstructing Strother Road between Lee’s Summit Road and Independence Avenue, north of Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport.