by Ivan Foley
The price tag is starting to come into focus on what officials say will be a helpful fix to a traffic clog in Platte City.
The City of Platte City has been working with MoDOT, McDonald’s and QuikTrip for more than a year to design, fund and construct an extension of Kentucky Avenue north of Hwy. 92.
The intersection of Hwy. 92 and Kentucky, located at the traffic light that features CVS on one side of the highway and the back side of McDonald’s and QuikTip on the other, will become a four-way intersection under the project.
The four-way signalized intersection, if and when completed, will provide a second means for vehicles to enter and exit the McDonald’s/QuikTrip parking area and will improve traffic flow in the area.
Cost to the City of Platte City for completion of the project is estimated to be $316,063, which includes $51,563 from the city going toward construction costs in the MoDOT right-of-way component and $264,000 from the city for construcion on right-of-way dedicated to the city by businesses in the area.
D.J. Gehrt, city administrator, says the city’s fiscal year 2015 budget appropriates $300,000 for this project.
“Potential budget adjustments will be determined by actual bid results,” Gehrt said.
MoDOT has capped its share of funds to the project at $354,580. Total public cost of the project is estimated to be $670,643.
There are a couple of different components to the plan for construction and funding.
One construction and funding component will be solely financed by the city. This portion will be constructed on right-of-way to be dedicated to the city at no charge by McDonald’s, QuikTrip, and the FM Wilson Trust.
The estimated construction of this portion of the project is $264,000 to be paid by the city.
The second funding and construction portion of the project deals with a MoDOT/Platte City cost share for the portion located on MoDOT’s Hwy. 92 right-of-way.
On this portion, MoDOT will be responsible for the first $336,000 in project construction costs. MoDOT will also be responsible for $18,580 in contract administration and inspection costs for a total MoDOT share of $354,580.
The city would be responsible for all engineering/design costs above the $336,000. At the current construction cost estimate of $387,563 the city’s share of construction costs for the MoDOT right-of-way component are estimated at $51,563.
The proposed agreement between the city and MoDOT is a cost share for the portion of the project that is located within the Hwy. 92 right-of-way and has a number of conditions that the city must meet, including meeting the MoDOT schedule for design submittal; utility relocation (if any is needed); a refundable deposit of $51,563 to MoDOT prior to bidding; acquiring right-of-way for local component of the project by April 3; and city completion of the local component of the project no later than Nov. 1.
“Approval of the MoDOT cost share agreeement is a major milestone toward project implementation but does not guarantee the project will be implemented,” Gehrt explained.
He said MoDOT is able to withdraw from the project if the above conditions are not completed by the city as scheduled.
Gehrt says the city is currently ahead of schedule with design submittals and on schedule for right-of-way acquisition but neither of these items are complete.
Traffic benefits once the project is complete should be very noticeable, city officials say.
It is expected that drivers of semi-trucks fueling at QuikTrip, as they become familiar with the improvement, will likely favor the new access onto Hwy. 92 as opposed to the southbound access at Prairie View and Hwy. 92.
“The new Kentucky Avenue access onto Hwy. 92 will allow vehicles to stack up inside the QT/McDonalds service area rather than on Prairie View,” Gehrt points out.
“The new access will also provide traffic intending to travel southbound on I-29 a significantly longer approach to allow them to be in the correct lane to make a right turn onto the southbound interstate ramp,” Gehrt said.
Gehrt explained that the new portion of roadway will require relatively slow speed limits on the extension due to the significant vertical grade change in a relatively short horizontal distance and the uphill transition from the existing banking of Hwy. 92 for northbound traffic on the extension and the relatively sharp downhill transition for southbound travel on the extension.
City officials earlier this year told The Landmark that both QuikTrip and McDonald’s have indicated to the city that the road project will play a factor in their decision-making regarding future expansion of their business operations at that location.