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Improvements Coming to Kansas St. Corridor From I-35 to 291

Liberty City Councilman Jeff Watt appeared before the Clay County Commission on March 14 to ask the Clay County Commission to approve a letter of support that would be included in a grant for upcoming rounds of MARC Surface Transportation Project (STP) Funding.

Several weeks ago MODOT came to Liberty and said that due to improved revenues for MODOT the agency was working on implementing cost share projects again. To do so, the state is needing $6 million in local cost share for a $15 million project.

This portion of the project will include improvements from Church Road in Kansas City to Conistor Street in Liberty. The bridge itself would be replaced with a new structure with 10 lanes. This would provide 3 thru lanes in each direction and double left turns to both North and South I-35. (Currently the bridge is a very narrow 8 lanes with 2 thru lanes each way and the double lefts to the interstate). There will also be double left turn lanes for the off-ramps from I-35.

The local cost share is being funded through a $3 million Surface and Transportation grant from MARC. There is also $1.5 million from Liberty and $1.5 million from Kansas City via the Shoal Creek TIF. Shelie Daniel (MODOT Engineer) and Councilman Watt testified recently at the Kansas City TIF Commission. The Commission unanimously approved the recommendation to fund the $1.5 million needed for the project.

The next segment of this project is to address the problems from Conistor Street through the 291 intersection to roughly the Claywoods traffic signal.

Steve Hansen, Liberty Public Works Director, is applying for an additional $8 million Surface and Transportation grant from MARC. If Liberty receives this the grant, it would allow fixes to Kansas Street allowing better traffic flow. This includes dedicated turn lanes for all directions along the corridor and fixing the 291 & Kansas Street intersection.

Currently the intersection only allows movement from one direction of 291 at a time. Liberty is also proposing to install a bike/pedestrian trail along the South side of Kansas from Conistor to at least 291, if not through the intersection. To help the application be competitive and successful, Watt was asking for a letter of support from the County Commissioners and 1st District Council Members from Kansas City.

The letter of support was unanimously approved at the March 21 Clay County Commission meeting.

UPDATE 3/27/2016:

According to comments left on our Facebook Page by Councilman Watt, the $8 million STP application was turned in Friday at MARC. Letters of support from Clay County Commissioners, KCMO 1st Dist Council Member Hall, and MODOT accompanied the application. A decision on the grant will be issued this fall.

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