by Valerie Verkamp
MoDOT has begun a $12.7 million road expansion of Hwy. 45 from Route K to Interstate 435.
At the intersection of Route 45 and Brink Myers Road, a groundbreaking ceremony Monday kicked off the final phase of the Route 45 Widening Project.
The third and final phase involves widening and flattening the hills along the proposed four-lane stretch of highway between Route K to Interstate 435.
Construction of the 1.26 mile stretch of roadway is expected to be completed by December of 2017.
Nearly two decades ago, plans were launched to expand Route 45 to four lanes from Interstate 29 to Interstate 435.
Phase one of construction widened Route 45 to a four-lane highway from Interstate 29 to Route 9. The next phase expanded the highway from Route 9 to Route K, adding curbs and sidewalks. Additional safety improvements planned for the final stretch include grading, paving, retaining walls, lighting and a roundabout at Brink Myers Road, just east of The Station.
The final phase was paid for through a cooperative agreement reached with MoDOT pledging $5.4 million, Platte County allocating $1.5 million and Parkville offering $5.8 million.
The project will increase the capacity for future daily traffic, reduce the number of car collisions at intersections and increase visibility by smoothing out the hills. The final phase should also provide motorists a smoother entry into neighborhoods along the stretch of highway.
“The city is looking forward to completion of the project, which will be beneficial to the Northland,” said Mayor Nan Johnston. “Years ago I made this project a top economic development priority and it's finally coming to fruition!”
Widening improvements have already sparked economic growth along expanded four-lane corridor. The Village at Burlington Creek, Hy-Vee and Meritas Health have all opened along the four-lane highway from Interstate 29 to Route 9.
A new QuikTrip will open later this year at the southeast corner of Route 9 and Route 45.
“The widening project will have a big impact on development in the area,” said David Barth, with Forest Park Development, developer of Thousand Oaks, “Thank you to all the people working diligently on the project.”
MoDOT recently entered a contract with Clarkson Construction for the final widening project.