Officials have ideas for the future of Platte City’s most vital roadway, and on Monday, April 18, citizens were able to attend a public meeting to offer input on narrowing down the choices.
Only about a dozen citizens and government officials showed up at Shiloh Springs Golf Course to provide opinions. This marked the second public meeting of the Highway 92 Corridor Study, which started this past fall and should end with adoption of a comprehensive plan by the end of the summer.
A project advisory committee also continues to help guide the process.
Based on previous input, Vireo and TransSystems — planning and design consultants hired 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.
Online commenting remains open through May 31 at highway92.digicate.com.
“We have been doing engagement, meaning talking to people, throughout this entire process,” said Triveece Pendleton of Vireo.
Major areas discussed included the section from Marshall Road to Second Street in Platte City and the possibility of expanding it four lanes, how to deal with the Interstate 29 interchange and how to use the land for preferred development. Citizens previously indicated that traffic and safety were the chief priorities while also finding a way to use this project to spur growth for Platte City.
All of the discussions center around 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.
Sara Clark of TransSystems, based out of Kansas City, offered three options for the rural area, keeping it at two lanes but adding shoulders, expanding to two lanes with a turn lane plus a sidewalk on one side and a trail on the other and going to a four-lane divided design with the sidewalk/trail feature. The right of way for these designs varied from 44 feet to 106 feet, meaning changes could be significant.
“This is a long-term improvement option that we want to look at,” Clark said. “So potentially as development occurs and need for improvements — traffic is getting high, higher volumes, safety concerns are coming up — at that point, we may need to purchase right of way from adjacent property owners, if we can’t get all dedicated along the entire corridor.”
The two presented options for the I-29 interchange were drastically different.
The seemingly preferred design involved reorienting the southbound ramps to the east, allowing for an additional 100 to 200 feet between them and the intersection with Prairie View and Running Horse roads. The option of a pedestrian bridge located north of the highway was also discussed, which would allow a pathway to the pending development of land east of the interstate.
Multiple citizens expressed concern with the other option, which could’ve included as many as three roundabouts. The proposed locations would include at the northbound ramps, southbound ramps and Prairie View and Running Horse roads.
Another idea to help diffuse traffic exiting off of I-29 involved a drastically unique interchange at Highway HH that led to multiple objections over the concept.
“This is a big idea,” Clark said. “This is something to get us outside the box and thinking about different options for the future of your community because if we’re going to develop in another location we want to look at balancing some of that future traffic to different roadways in town.”
Additional sidewalks were also discussed that would span the entirety of Platte City and offer enhanced connectivity.
Because no funding source exists to alter Highway 92, the planning for this project extends for 10 years. Officials said once adopted the plan could be prioritized with projects able to be started and completed as need and money becomes available.
The land use model showed mixes of residential, commercial and retail east of Interstate 29 with most in attendance favoring large lot homes vs. subdivisions. The proposal of some multi-family developments did not receive any open opposition.
Mid-America Regional Council is funding 85 percent of the study, while the City of Platte City is responsible for the other 15 percent.