Highway 92 Corridor Study draft proposes big changes to major intersections in Platte City

With no current funding source or designs in place, the City of Platte City can’t change Highway 92 right now, but officials seemingly have a plan.

The Platte City Board of Aldermen’s economic development subcommittee reviewed the draft of the Highway 92 corridor study on Tuesday, Sept. 20, recommending it to the full board for approval. The board of aldermen next meets Tuesday, Sept. 27 and should adopt the document, bringing to an end a year-long process that provides guidance moving forward.

Recommendations include widening Highway 92 from Second Street to Marshall Road, adding a roundabout at Fourth Street and improving the diamond interchange with Interstate 29.
Vireo and TransSystems — planning and design consultants hire for the project — produced concepts for how to develop and redevelop Highway 92 along with the land a quarter mile in each direction of the roadway. The study area ranges from Bethel Road on the east to Highway 273 on the west.

The implementation of these concepts would occur during an estimated period of 30 years as funding and need become applicable.

“We’re now at the very end,” Triveece Penelton, city planner with Vireo. “We’re calling it an adoption, but it’s really more acceptance that we’ve completed our scope of our work for this particular project.”

During the study, the consultants worked with a project advisory committee and hosted two public meetings in an effort to gain input.

Challenges identified included development and redevelopment and safety while improvements to downtown Platte City and multi-modal transportation systems were seen as top opportunities. The plan sought to find ways to achieve goals while minimizing the impact to existing businesses and homes.

However, the proposals would require a lot of work with right of way agreements to complete many of the biggest suggested projects.

“I just want to be sensitive to that, knowing that it’s going to be a long time probably before some of this happens,” Penelton said. “Even though this is representing the vision, this is a long-term vision.”

The draft states the goals as supporting the continued development of Platte City as a bedroom community while also providing all community members and visitors with a range of safe transportation options. The vision is written as, “To develop a multimodal transportation corridor that smoothly and safely accommodates traffic from all travelers while responding to the character of adjacent development in a way that increases economic development interest and activity in Platte City and supports the city’s desire to become a bedroom community that attracts residents from within the metropolitan area and beyond.”

The study — 85 percent funded through a grant from the Mid-America Regional Council — centered on the idea that Platte City will continue to grow and needs to find ways to provide transportation and housing choices while preserving its unique characteristics. The study divided the area into three sections: the two-lane area east of town currently more rural, the four-lane section from I-29 to Marshall Road and Marshall Road down to Highway 273.

The lengthy two-lane section running from I-29 to Bethel Road would be slated to shift to two lanes with a center turn lane with the ultimate goal of making it a divided four-lane roadway. This would require increasing right of way from the current 80 feet to about 200 feet to accommodate the road, a sidewalk and multi-use trail, according to the master plan. Each mile of expanded road would be estimated to cost between $6.5 and $7.5 million.

The intersection at Bethel Road would also be realigned, although that came in as a much lower priority.

The middle portion of the area studied wouldn’t have many changes, although the southbound ramps at I-29 would be shifted in another low priority project. Likely at a large cost, the ramps would be moved east between 100 and 200 feet to allow for additional space between the Prairie View and Running Horse intersections to the merger points with the interstate.  

Expanding the width of Highway 92 from Marshall Road to Second Street will be a higher priority, estimated to cost between $2.5 and $3 million per mile. This would make the roadway four lanes from Marshall to Fourth Street with the ability to add a roundabout or make other preferred improvements to the Fourth Street intersection.

The portion from Fourth Street to Second Street — and possibly even further north — would be two lanes with a center turn lane.

Other high priority projects include increasing sidewalks on the area west and north of Interstate 29. The city has already begun work to connect the existing footpaths, including a large portion from Marshall Road to the edge of the Platte County R-3 School District property.

The plan also calls for the eventual connection of the trail system under Highway 92 near the Platte River Bridge south of Tracy, Mo. This is another low priority proposal.