major road project near a new school in southern Platte County is running behind schedule and will not be completed when the school year opens for the district next week.
The improvement work on North Northwood Road is a City of Kansas City project being done primarily with that city’s accumulated portion of funds from Platte County’s 3/8th cent sales tax for roads, says Bob Heim, public works director for Platte County.
Walden Middle School, a new facility for the Park Hill School District, will open next week when the district begins classes on Aug. 14. The school sits on about 48 acres near 56th St. and N. Northwood Road. Park Hill officials have said the school is ready for students when classes begin Wednesday.
A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony is set for Thursday night, Aug. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the new middle school, 4701 NW 56th St.
In addition to Walden, an existing elementary school–Southeast Elementary–is near there as well, meaning there is a considerable school traffic in the area of all the road improvements.
The original plan was for the N. Northwood road work to be completed by the beginning of the school year but Heim says several factors have contributed to that timeline not being met.
There have been problems and slowdowns with utility relocation necessary for the improvement. Also, design issues were encountered, he said.
Heim says the road project is about 65 percent complete. Estimated completion he now describes as “late fall.”
The area being improved is N. Northwood Road from NW 52nd St. to NW Prairie View Road, southwest of the major I-29 and 64th St. intersection. Cost is expected at $4-5 million.
Project details include road, curb and gutter reconstruction from roundabout installation at NW 56th St; 14 ft. wide lanes with “share the road” signage for bicycles; multi-use trail on west side of the road (directly in front of the school); school driveway shift to line up with N. Strathbury Drive directly across the street.
Work has spanned two construction seasons.
Construction began south of 56th St. then moved north. Access to the schools in the area is available during construction though it may not be the normal route that motorists are accustomed to using.