With the on-again, off-again Kentucky Avenue extension process nearing a dead end, the City of Platte City finally received confirmation from QuikTrip that will green light the long-anticipated project — assuming cost estimates don’t come in out of whack.
This means the current three-way intersection at Highway 92 and Kentucky will become a four-way intersection, providing a second access point to McDonald’s and QuikTrip. Kentucky will then run through and connect with NW Prairie View Road. In conjunction with the Kentucky Avenue extension in the opposite direction to accommodate the Platte County R-3 School District’s new elementary school, the road becomes a mostly four-lane corridor connecting Fourth Street on the west with NW Prairie View Road on the east.
Construction would likely start in the spring or summer of 2016 with the full extension of Kentucky Avenue finished about the same time in the fall, completing the dream scenario for the roadway after many years of piecing the projects together.
“That was the idea,” Platte City city manager DJ Gehrt said, “but there was an awful lot of luck.”
In addition, city officials have received word from QuikTrip officials that a new Generation 3 version of the store will be built, updating the Platte City facility to a more modern and convenient model. QT recently opened a Gen 3 store in Riverside, Mo., which separates the gas and convienence store portions of the parking lot and provides an in-store kitchen with touch screen ordering on made-to-order items and expanded fountain drink options.
McDonald’s has also been rumored to be considering an updated store model on its property. However, city officials have not been given confirmation that would happen at this point.
Gehrt planned to go to the Platte City Board of Aldermen subcommittee for economic development last week with the suggestion to move on from the project for now.
With money from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) possibly being lost and reallocated to other projects, time seemed to have run out on the two-year-long negotiations. Instead, Gehrt received an email that day with QuikTrip’s intentions to supply the extra $350,000 needed to make the extension possible.
Official confirmation came later in the week.
Back in March, QuikTrip made a request to explore a second engineering plan after initially agreeing to another design that would have extended Kentucky Avenue from its current terminus into the back of the large convenience store along a shared access with McDonald’s. QuikTrip made the change after considering the future of the store at that location.
All right-of-way agreements for the joint project between Platte City, MoDOT and the private businesses remained in place, but the new preferred design required a lengthier, more expensive wedge on the currently super-elevated asphalt on the portion of Highway 92 that creates a steep bank near the proposed expanded intersection. This was a preferred original option that Platte City balked at due to the increased cost, but QuikTrip agreeing to pay the difference of what now becomes an estimated $1.35 million project.
In the end, the cost will be divided with the city and MoDOT paying about 40 percent each and QuikTrip the other 20 percent. McDonald’s granted the right of way to its property free of cost as its portion of the agreement.
The city had spent more than $130,000 with engineering firm Shafer, Kline and Warren and would not have recouped that money if the project had fallen through.
The plans to build a new store at the site while keeping the current one open throughout construction provides the city with a long-term commitment from a key member of the business community in Platte City. The goal is to allow the businesses in that area and Platte City to stop missing out on perceived lost revenue due to traffic congestion.
Currently, traffic bottlenecks around the two front entrances/exits on NW Prairie View Road, especially at the left-hand turn lane onto 92 which immediately gives way to the southbound Interstate 29 entrance ramp on the right-hand side. The hope is that semi-truck traffic takes over majority use of the new intersection with a new logical traffic pattern to utilize while regular commuter traffic continues to use the existing routes.
The super-elevation at the current three-way intersection with Kentucky Avenue 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 to the current private drive between QuikTrip and McDonald’s that goes on to meet up with Prairie View.
Highway 92’s slope will be changed in the current project from NW Prairie View Road almost to the private drive that gives access to Kwik Lube and Car Wash. The new intersection would feature a right-hand turn entrance and exit on the back side of the Quik Trip/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.
However, there will be no restrictions placed on what type of vehicle use which entrance/exit.