by Valerie Verkamp
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has lowered the speed limit on Highway 45 between Highway K and Interstate 435 at Parkville.
The speed limit has been reduced to 45 miles an hour and will take effect immediately upon the posting of all traffic signs.
Kerri Lewis with MoDOT says the 10 mile an hour adjustment was made to create consistency along Highway 45, as well as address motorist concerns.
MoDOT received mounds of feedback from motorists that use the corridor on a daily bases, who requested the speed limit be lowered along the Highway 45 corridor. Those concerns prompted MoDOT to look twice at that stretch of roadway, which ultimately led to them reducing the speed limit to ensure safety along the corridor.
“We rely heavily on a lot of our customers that drive these roads daily that can give us an idea when they think there is an issue,” said Lewis.
Lewis wants to remind motorists to watch their speed along the corridor, because an officer of the law could impose a traffic ticket if they catch motorists speeding, once the new signs are posted.
Daniel Erickson, Platte County director of planning and zoning, says the amendment to the speed limit is appropriate especially with the trail expansion along Highway 45.
“We are trying to invite pedestrians” to use the Southern Platte Trail along the roadway and we want to maintain safety, he said.
During a Platte County Commission meeting Monday, Kathy Dusenbery, first district commissioner, said officials are currently working on appropriating the necessary funds to widen Highway 45 to four lanes all the way to Interstate 435.
Dusenbery said there are several entryways into subdivisions including Timber Ridge along that stretch of road where cars enter and exit onto the highway. Motorists who utilize that roadway will not only benefit from a reduction to the speed limit, but also the widening of that roadway, she said.
Officials with MoDOT say the construction along Highway 45 between Highway 9 and Highway K is on schedule and will be finished by year’s end. Motorists can expect traffic to be shifted onto the new east and westbound lanes by the end of this week. The widening of Highway 45 is now complete, but traffic will remain one lane, while work is finished on the median.
With the widening of Highway 45 wrapping up, city officials are looking ahead and now taking measures to preserve the natural setting along the roadway.
On Monday, the commission took additional steps to ensure that new development along Highway 45 would not disrupt the natural beauty along that route.
The commission unanimously passed a memorandum of understanding between the city of Parkville and Platte County that makes certain new development meets particular standards, which preserve the value of its natural setting.
According to the memorandum of understanding, both the city of Parkville as well as the county will each contribute $20,000 towards the future planning of the corridor.
Erickson said the agreement is not intended to “limit development in these areas, rather is intended to promote development that fits in the natural environment.”
Highway 45 crosses jurisdictions, because of those boundary lines this cooperative agreement is essential, he said. This is the first time Platte County has entered into an agreement of this kind with a city, he added.
“Even though we are widening the corridor to four lanes, we don't want a corridor that grows into a North Oak (Trafficway), we want planned development…so that all the commercials are in certain areas so that we can keep the integrity and beauty of that drive and protect it,” said Dusenbery.
In addition, the commission passed a resolution to seek proposals from consultants interested in creating a highway plan for the corridor.