he economic boom of Riverside will soon be seen on the roadways of the city. According to Riverside City Administrator David Blackburn, thanks to revenues from Argosy Casino, the city will be able to finance nearly $11.6 million in capital improvement projects.
The largest project to be funded out of the budget is $4 million in improvements to the Vivion and Gateway intersection in Riverside.
The main crossroads of Vivion, (runs east and west), and Gateway, (runs north and south), that intersects in the middle of Riverside has been under construction for two months, as motorists in the southern Platte County city have observed.
Blackburn said improvements to the intersection include basic reconstruction of the road, installation of curbs and gutters, and expansion of the Vivion and Gateway intersection to five lanes.
“This project has been on the drawing board ever since I’ve been here, which has been almost five years,” said Blackburn. “The bridge on Gateway was improved and expanded when I first got here, which was the start of the Gateway project.”
Once the project is complete, Blackburn reported that Vivion traveling east will be reduced to a two-lane road, Vivion going west will “ultimately go down to three lanes.” Gateway north will also be a three lane road, and Gateway south will meet four lanes on the recently completed West Platte Road.
“This project was designated at least five years ago that it needed attention. It was old state highway and they wanted to put curbs and gutters and be able to control stormwater and make appearance improvements to the community,” stated Blackburn.
The intersection of Vivion and Gateway is expected to be complete in the Spring of 2006. With improvements to Vivion and Gateway, the city has also designated $1.6 million toward the improvement of Vivion Road west.
In an approximate half-mile stretch, Blackburn said improvements include reconstruction of the roadway to three lanes, and the installation of curb and guttering.
“Part of the issue with this project is that the city wanted to make improvements in conjunction with the Vivion and Gateway project,” said Blackburn.
The next project in line is the construction of a $2 million bridge over Line Creek. “There used to be a bridge at the end of West Platte and Vivion, which was taken out with the levee. Now we’re going to do a new bridge at a new location,” added Blackburn.
City officials have also allocated $130,000 in funds toward the preliminary design and analysis study of Vivion Road east. Blackburn stated that Riverside has joined with Kansas City, MoDOT, Northmoor, and Gladstone to gather funds toward improvements to this section of roadway.
“Everybody is putting together pieces to go toward the study. We have just allocated our money to go toward the study,” said Blackburn.
Also a part of the $11.6 million in capital projects, is the allocation of $1.7 million in engineering and design for the Riverside Horizons Project, by the levee.
“The Riverside Horizons Project will include a new interchange and improvements to Hwy 9.”
Improvements to Hwy. 9 include widening, and the addition of signals where Van de Populier meets Hwy 9.
“This is a key priority for the city because of the development of property down there now that the levee is completed. The interchange is the main component of that,” said Blackburn. MoDOT has announced it will contribute $3 million in funds toward the improvements to Hwy 9, and another $5 million to the interchange.