City of Parkville to start process of acquiring funding to rebuild Highway 9 corridor

PARKVILLE, Mo. — The Parkville Board of Aldermen accepted the Highway 9 corridor study and laid the groundwork to seek grant funding to rebuild portions of the highway. The development team presented the final recommendations of the months-long process at the Jan. 5 board meeting, with alderman Jim Werner recusing himself, as he owns property along the highway.

The plan is a joint venture between Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) as part of its Planning Sustainable Places program, and the City of Parkville, City of Riverside, Platte County, Park University and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).

The study created a preliminary conceptual design for improvements along the highway and cost estimates for better positioning in future grant requests.

CFS Engineers was hired in April to work on the project, chopping the Highway 9 corridor into a dozen project sections, each with its own price tag, while MCD and Associates worked up funding methods for the projects.

The preferred configurations for most areas of the corridor are for a three-lane roadway complete with a 10-foot pedestrian path alongside the road and a 5-foot sidewalk on the other side. In some areas, particularly through downtown, the roadway would remain at two lanes, but the sidewalks and multi-use pathway would be maintained.

In total, the projects would cost about $13.1 million and engineers considered the entire corridor to be a 20-plus year project if funded at current levels. However, there are other funding methods the city could consider.

Of the 12 corridor segments, two were rated as the top priority and consist of the roadway between Northwest 62nd Street to Lakeview Drive at about $2.4 million. Improvements include installation of a traffic signal at Clark Avenue to coordinate with the pedestrian crossing and allow for construction on the east side of the highway. From the PAC to Lakeview Drive, driveway access locations would be defined, parking improved and a frontage slip lane would be constructed where possible.

CFS recommended the city first tackle these segments through various funding methods, but primarily through seeking grant funding from MARC. The city could seek matching grants, with MARC covering 80 percent of project costs. Consultants recommend leveraging the projects two at a time and seeking multiple partnerships with the county or other districts.

If the MoDOT cost sharing grant program is rebooted, the city could apply for that as well. In the meantime, city officials can apply pressure at the state level to restart the popular program.

Another option suggested in the report is a city-wide sales tax of up to 1 percent.

Even a one-half cent sales tax would create $459,000-519,000 in revenue for capital improvement projects per year, according to CFS calculations. Creation of a new special taxing district in areas along the corridor not already in a special district could also be considered.

For now, the board opted to unanimously approve submission of the two highest-priority projects to MARC during its 2016 call for projects.