Progress takes time. Seems like a simple enough concept.
Should be anyway.
But I’m guessing I’m not the only one struggling with the Highway 92 road construction. My optimism went through the roof with talk of completion moving ahead of schedule and progress.
Yes, the new four-way intersection at Kentucky Avenue opened. Yes, it took a little longer than expected due to some weather delays.
So here we are with a brand new section of road.
Yet, traffic problems haven’t been fixed — at least not yet. The closure of Running Horse Road at Highway 92 and the impending closure of Prairie View Road, scheduled to start Wednesday, Aug. 19, on the opposite side of the intersection will be a headache.
Right now, progress is hard to see.
I’ve heard the frustrations of others with how the process has gone. I’m trying to provide the voice of reason when I can.
First off, the closure of Running Horse didn’t go as originally planned. We reported here that it would happen, and the estimated date we gave came and passed.
Please keep in mind that these delays will happen. We will try our best to be as accurate as possible, but changes in the schedule will be inevitable.
Just know that if the estimated date passes, the work will still happen but just might take a little bit longer. Construction should continue for at least another month, and maybe as long as two months if more delays are encountered.
However, I still think the change will be positive for Platte City, even if right now you grab the steering wheel extra hard and silently scream as you sit at the Kentucky Avenue light longer than you envisioned.
The traffic patterns will sort out, and the progress doesn’t stop when the roads have fully opened. You aren’t getting off that easy.
My first trip down the new part of Kentucky Avenue included a back up at the left hand turn lane onto Highway 92. Semis were stacked, and a car in front of me let two more out in front.
I just wanted to go right but had to wait a full light cycle before I could access that turn lane. I can already see that truck traffic from the back of QuikTrip will cause some complications until the new store is constructed.
Engineers are smart people, and I can already see the potential wisdom in the planned store flip. The new Generation 3 QT will have the front facing Highway 92, a 180 from the current setup of the chain’s busiest location in the Kansas City metro area.
The truck traffic will be pushed to the new back (the current front) and give the car traffic a little bit more freedom of operation. At least that’s how I see it in my mind.
This plan has been ambitious from the start, an opportunity to grow Platte City and make a more convenient commercial area. This has been seen as progress or at least potential progress.
Eventually, the concepts have to become reality, and the familiar will go away.
We will need to give this change time, give it a chance to work before deciding it is a failure.
This is the early part of a long-term project, and that can be easy to forget. In fact, the old routes on Prairie View Road will remain an option so all is not lost.
However, Platte City should be getting a new QT store and possibly an updated McDonald’s out of the deal. Even if you choose not to go there often because of how busy the area gets, both businesses provide a lot of sales tax dollars to Platte City.
So give the progress a chance to work. There will be delays and unevenness along the way, but hopefully, we will reach the end destination soon enough.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.