Early this month, the Platte County Commission signed off on an agreement paving the way for the construction of a new Tiffany Springs Road bridge over Interstate 29.
At the Monday, July 2 administrative session, commissioners heard from Matt Webster of George K. Baum and Company, who presented a financing agreement among the Kansas City TIF Commission, the Platte County Industrial Development Authority and Platte County. Webster represented the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) which is its own independent political entity.
Webster said since its inception in 1999, Tax Increment Financing (TIF) through IDA has helped pay for $28 million in improvements to Platte County roads and bridges. The newest round of projects includes a $7 million bridge project and plans for future improvements. The replacement of the aging Tiffany Springs Road bridge will be coordinated by the City of Kansas City and funded through TIF allocations collected by the county. The project also includes about $4 million in federal grant funds.
The construction contract with Clarkson Construction was approved by the Kansas City Council on Thursday, June 7 with construction set to begin within the next 6 to 8 weeks. The current bridge will remain open for as long as possible during construction of the new bridge, which could last up to two years. Northwest Prairie View Road will remain open under the new bridge after construction is complete.
Work on Old Tiffany Springs Road has been ongoing for years, with the reconstruction of the roadway near new development bringing the roadway to four lanes with medians, curbs and gutters. A sidewalk and trail have been installed, as were streetlights and enclosed storm sewers.
Due to the recent financial problems at Zona Rosa, where the county has been put in a difficult position due to a 2007 commitment to back the construction of parking garages, commissioners took extra precautions before approving this agreement. Platte County has no financial obligation in the project, simply acting as the agency appropriating and then remitting the funds brought in through the TIF.
Attorney Gary Anderson of Gilmore and Bell also spoke, stating that at the commission’s insistence the agreement contained language clarifying the county’s role and stating Platte County had no financial liability in the projects. The commissioners unanimously approved the agreement.
Replacement of the Tiffany Springs bridge makes up the bulk of the planned issuance of up to $12 million in bonds, but two other projects were also approved. Work has already been completed on one of these. Northwest 108th Street, which becomes Shoal Creek Parkway in Clay County, has been improved beginning at Platte Purchase Road and extending to the county line. Hunt Midwest will be reimbursed $1 million for work completed on that project. About $1.1 million has also been allocated to design improvements on North Green Hills Road from Old Tiffany Springs Road to 108th Street.