Committee recommends against building bridge

rpulley@lsjournal.comMay 19, 2017 

A plan is to emerging to switch funding from a proposed bridge that is unwanted by its neighbors to improving a section of Ward Road near the fast-growing area of the Missouri Innovation Campus.

The Public Works Committee of the Lee’s Summit City Council met Tuesday and discussed the Fifth Terrace Bridge, which would close a gap at the dead-end of S.E. Bordner Drive between nearby Country Lane and Greenridge Drive, to make a connection with a neighborhood to the east.

Residents of neighborhoods near the gap, where the streets dead end, are opposed to the bridge because it would likely increase traffic on their streets. They contend many drivers would also be speeding.

The bridge’s design and construction is expected to cost about $920,000. Improving Ward Road from two lanes to four lanes north, where it runs north of Chipman to Blue Parkway is estimated at $1 to $1.3 million.

Councilman Rob Binney suggested reallocating the money after Phyllis Edson and David Mosby outvoted him to recommend stopping work on the bridge and taking it off the city’s list of possible future improvements. The bridge is nearly designed and Binney wanted to leave it unfunded on the city’s capital projects list.

Mosby made the motion to end any more spending on the bridge.

Binney preferred to leave the bridge as an approved project, but unfunded, in case opposition to the bridge fades over time.

Mosby said if he could, he would cancel it, period.

“I don’t believe the public wants to see this pop up in five years,” Mosby said.

In any case, in future years, a different set of council members could resurrect the bridge project.

The proposed bridge would have cut through a stream corridor that’s now wooded, and frequented by deer, turkey, foxes and other wildlife.

The city’s Planning Commission will have a public hearing on the 2018-2022 Capital Improvements Plan, and the commission and full council are to discuss that plan, including the fate of the bridge, and vote on its approval.

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