by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark assistant editor
The intersection of Highway 92 and Prairie View/Running Horse Road is routinely jam-packed as motorists make their way to the gas pump or to grab a bite to eat.
Some Platte City residents admit they try to steer clear of the area at times of day when traffic seems to be the heaviest.
To alleviate some of the congestion, city officials have not only come up with a plan to improve the area, but have secured funding to create an auxiliary point of entry to divert some of the traffic.
The work, scheduled to occur in the summer of 2016, would create a four-way intersection along Hwy. 92 at Kentucky Avenue, behind QuikTrip and McDonald's.
City officials say semi-truck drivers will benefit tremendously from the new roadway construction, because it will provide them a back way into QuikTrip and McDonald's. Locals will appreciate the surface improvements to Hwy. 92, including fresh pavement and reduction to the super elevation of the road surface.
A few months ago, QuikTrip officials announced they would committ $350,000 to help cover the cost of the proposed improvements. That's in addition to the $500,000 the city has secured for the project, as well as the $500,000 MoDOT has committed toward road improvements and construction costs.
The amount of the secured funds corresponds with the engineer's estimate of the construction improvement project. But in the event construction costs go above and beyond the estimated $1.35 million, the city would like the assurance that the county would then provide the additional funding necessary to finish the project.
The city has drafted a transportation contingency funding agreement outlining both the county's and the city's financial role should the cost exceed the engineer's estimate. If county officials enter into the agreement, the county's transportation fund, fed by the countywide 3/8th cent sales tax for roads, would serve as an additional funding source up to $175,000.
The city has an incentive to pay attention and rein in construction costs. The first $25,000 of county contingency funds must be matched by Platte City. The matching mechanism would fund the first $50,000 above the engineer's estimate.
The contingency funding agreement with the county was given approval by the city’s public works subcommittee Tuesday night and will now be forwarded to the full board of aldermen.
McDonald's and the Wilson Family Trust have provided they city with all the necessary rights-of-way at no cost. The city will continue to serve as the top agency designing and coordinating the improvement project.
City officials are expected to sign off on the agreement at the upcoming board of aldermen meeting.