The City of Platte City and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODoT) just need the right of way to move forward with a project to extend Kentucky Avenue.
During its regular meeting, the Platte City Board of Aldermen approved the city’s portion of funding — totaling a little more than $300,000. The final design of the expanded roadway should be presented soon, and the last major hurdle for the long-awaited extension seems to be right-of-way approval from QuikTrip, which city administrator DJ Gehrt expects to receive well before a March deadline.
However, the board needed to approve the contract now to keep the project on schedule with restrictions in place for MODoT’s portion of the estimated $600,000-plus cost.
“We can’t wait for (QuikTrip),” Gehrt said in addressing the economic development sub-committee, which gave its backing of the measure prior to the regular meeting — moved up a week to avoid conflict with the holidays. “We have to move forward with our cost-share agreement with MODoT because there are some time schedules, and if we don’t meet those time schedules, MODoT’s money can go away.”
The current plan — recently agreed upon between engineers and Platte City and MODoT officials — calls for Kentucky Avenue to meet up with the current roadway between McDonald’s and QuikTrip, which then carries onto Prairie View Road. MODoT is scheduled to pay $336,000 toward the portion of the extension from Highway 92 into the parking lots. Platte City is responsible for about $51,000 of that part and an estimated $264,000 to complete the required connection to Prairie View.
Platte City is estimated to incur about $325,000 of total cost if all contingencies are exhausted. The current budget includes $300,000 for the project, and Gehrt believes it will come in under budget, barring any unforeseen setbacks.
Ample reserves exist to cover any excess if bids come in higher.
“It seems like an awful lot of money for a short span,” Gehrt said, “but when you start getting the street lights involved, the traffic lights involved, it adds up fast.”
McDonald’s already gave its approval for right of way to its portion of the property, and QuikTrip is expected to do the same based on the talks, which have been ongoing for more than a year.
Construction on the roadway could begin this spring or early summer if all conditions of the agreement are met. Gehrt also said this could clear the way for both QuikTrip and McDonald’s to modify their current setups or construct new buildings with hopes of better serving existing customers while also expanding operations with improved facilities.
Currently, traffic bottlenecks around the two front entrances/exits, especially the left-hand turn lane off of Prairie View onto eastbound Highway 92 which immediately gives way to the southbound Interstate 29 entrance ramp on the right-hand side. This creates congestion with lengthy waits for a green left-hand turn signal, mostly due to tractor trailer traffic. The hope is that truckers take over majority use of the new intersection at Kentucky Avenue and 92 with a new logical traffic pattern to utilize while regular commuter traffic continues to use the existing entrances/exits.
Highway 92 would feature a right-hand turn entrance and exit on the back side of the QuikTrip/McDonalds parking lots. Kentucky Avenue would also be changed to allow cross traffic and add a left-hand turn option on the new portion of the roadway designed for tractor trailers looking for an easier exit to reach I-29.
However, there will be no restrictions placed on what type of vehicle use which entrance/exit.
The super-elevation of 92 at the current three-way intersection, which contains a large degree of banking, created a unique problem in trying to make it a four-way light-controlled intersection. The new portion of Kentucky Avenue must be at a safe slope where it connects with 92 and goes up to the current private drive between the two businesses, which must view the plan as a benefit to grant right of way.
“Just to pat DJ on the back, he’s done exemplary work in working with the corporate structure of QuikTrip and McDonald’s. Well done,” Platte City mayor Frank Offutt said.
Shafer, Kline and Warren (SKW) — an engineering company contracted by the city — completed a task order on the project this past spring, which helped the city start discussions with MoDOT and the private land owners and eventually reach agreement on a plan. Platte City also contracted with SKW for survey, design and project engineering but would not recoup the fee of more than $100,000 if a formal agreement between all involved parties cannot be reached.