Kentucky Avenue extension agreements released; new QuikTrip coming to Platte City

After nearly two years of wrangling, the City of Platte City has the agreements approved to move forward with a key road project. The Platte City Board of Aldermen unanimously agreed to the terms set forth, paving the way for the extension of Kentucky Avenue into the back of the QuikTrip and McDonald’s locations to start late spring or early summer. The estimated $1.35 million improvements includes monetary contributions from the city, QuikTrip and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).

McDonald’s granted right of way free of cost for the project.

“And that is essentially where we’ve ended up,” Platte City city administrator DJ Gehrt said.

The principals in the project first met to discuss the extension in October of 2013.

In the two years since, the project has been on, seemingly dead, possibly back, all but dead and then on again. Now, the city will be able to fund improvements to Kentucky Avenue and Highway 92 while also extending Kentucky Avenue through the current shared drive for QuikTrip and McDonald’s to NW Prairie View Avenue.

The agreements approved are with MoDOT and then with QuikTrip to serve as a conduit for its portion of the project funds — about $350,000.

QuikTrip also confirmed plans to build its new Generation 3 store on the current site. According to city officials, the company will approach the Platte City Planning and Zoning Commission with an official proposal soon.

The busy Platte City QuikTrip will be replaced with more modern and convenient model. QT recently opened a Gen 3 store in Riverside, Mo., which separates the gas and convenience 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 been rumored to also be considering a new facility but nothing has been confirmed. To facilitate the building updates, 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.

QuikTrip recently asked for full design control over one of the entryways off of Kentucky Avenue to its facility, but the city declined. Officials did agree to provide a plan for review and input with the possibility that reasonable change requests would be accommodated.

This provided the final hurdle for the agreement.

The city also plans to work with Platte County for some funding contingencies.

Current proposals call for a 50-50 share of cost between the city and county if the project’s bids come in up to $1.4 million. After the $1.4 million mark, Platte County would pay 100 percent of excess up to $1.55 million.

Any amount over $1.55 million would be the city’s responsibility.

The city also received review privileges from MoDOT for any part of the project that goes more than 5 percent over the original budget. However, the city would receive limited time to take action in that scenario.

“Really the big question is going to be are the bids going to come in where they’re anticipated by the engineer’s estimate?” Gehrt said. “We’ve seen some that have been right on, and we’ve seen some that were just not even close.”

With money from MoDOT possibly being lost and reallocated to other projects, time seemed to have run out recently on the two-year-long negotiations. Instead, Gehrt received an email with QuikTrip’s intentions to supply the extra $350,000 needed to make the extension possible.

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.

In the end, the cost will be divided with the city and MoDOT paying about 40 percent each and QuikTrip the other 20 percent.