PARKVILLE, Mo. — Five years after figuring out the funding, officials from across the Northland celebrated completion of the third phase of the Highway 45 widening project last week.
A 1.26 mile stretch of road from Highway K to Interstate 435 fully opened to the public as a four-lane divided highway. Those involved with the project — considered an important widening of an east-west corridor — came together Wednesday, Dec. 13 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The road opened over the weekend.
“Please join me in thinking all those responsible for these enhancements that will be appreciated for generations to come,” Parkville mayor Nan Johnston said. “And thank you for joining us in the celebration of progress.”
The widening project was initiated in 1999 to expand Highway 45 from a two-lane to a four-lane highway from Interstate 29 to Highway 9. The second phase from Highway 9 to Highway K was completed in 2012.
The construction of additional lanes has improved traffic safety, decreased travel time and congestion and enhanced economic growth for Parkville, according to officials.
“This is a significant safety and capacity improvement for 45 Highway — a major highway — that is very necessary,” Platte County first district commissioner Dagmar Wood said.
The third and final phase was funded through a partnership among MoDOT ($5.4 million), Platte County ($1.5 million) and the City of Parkville (Federal Surface Transportation Funds $5.8 million). Work included grading, paving, retaining walls, lighting, the addition of a roundabout at Brink Myers Road and a trail from K to Brink Myers Road.
With preliminary approval of its 2018 budget and capital improvement plan at the Tuesday, Dec. 5 board of aldermen meeting, the city is planning its next round of road improvements.
The first two phases of the planned Highway 9 improvements are scheduled to begin in 2018. They are funded through a combination of state and federal grants, with local match dollars from a recently formed Community Improvement District (CID) sales tax.
The city, assisted by funding from the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) completed in 2015 a study assessing the future of Highway 9 from Highway 45 into Riverside, Mo. The project was parceled into a series of phases, with Parkville ready to tackle the first few, taking improvements from the intersection with Highway 45 through Clark Avenue.
The project is an almost complete reconstruction of the highway, widening and improving safety and access.
Stormwater improvements such as curbing and gutters will be installed, the roadway widened and turning lanes added. A shared use path will be constructed, along with street lighting for both vehicular and pedestrian safety.
In 2017, the city boosted its street maintenance spending to $1 million, taking care of several streets that had deteriorated more quickly than expected. Street maintenance funding will return to its normal levels in 2018, with the city beginning payments on the short-term loan that allowed the temporary spending bump.
At the meeting earlier this month, the board also gave preliminary approval to a proposed 10 percent sewer rate increase, but a public hearing will be held in January 2018 before final approval.