$16 million diverging diamond project touted as key to economic growth and investment
The City of Lee’s Summit and its project partners celebrated the official construction kickoff for the new $16 million interchange at Route 291 South and U.S. 50 on Wednesday, May 3 at the Harris Park Community Center, 110 S.W. Blue Parkway. The project includes reconstruction of the Route 291 overpass bridge into a diverging diamond design, adds a roundabout at Blue Parkway and Jefferson Street, and realigns Oldham Parkway.
“This new interchange will help ease congestion through a heavily traveled residential and commercial route while enhancing safety and improving access for pedestrians and cyclists,” said Lee’s Summit Mayor Randall Rhoads. “In addition to improving traffic flow and reducing accidents, the new interchange will increase economic development activity in the surrounding area.”
Reconstruction of the 40-year-old bridge and interchange has been a long-standing priority of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council and the Lee’s Summit business community. LSEDC President and CEO Rick McDowell predicts the corridor is the next frontier for economic growth.
“This project opens up hundreds of acres for commercial development,” McDowell said. “With The Grove mixed-use development to the southeast slated to begin spec industrial construction this year, and Pinetree Plaza shopping center on the northwest quadrant targeted for redevelopment, this new interchange will serve as a gateway to the south side of Lee’s Summit.”
A decade ago, a group of Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council investors formed the Gateway Business Alliance roundtable to advocate for public funding of transportation infrastructure projects, including the 291/50 interchange. In 2014, Lee’s Summit voters approved a no-tax-increase, $10 million bond issue to help finance the improvements.
“The Gateway Business Alliance was formed to help build awareness of the important role that transportation investment plays in a thriving business community. This interchange is among the most important initiatives we have undertaken, and it is hugely gratifying to finally break ground on this project,” said Chip Moxley, CEO of Tingle Flooring and co-chair of the Gateway Business Alliance.
The new $16.02 million interchange is funded through a three-part cost sharing agreement, with the City of Lee’s Summit paying $8 million; the US Department of Transportation paying $6.8 million through funds secured through the Mid-America Regional Council; and the Missouri Department of Transportation paying the remaining $1.22 million.
“This project would not be possible without the collaboration at all levels of government,” said Lee’s Summit Public Works Director Dena Mezger. “We are excited to continue our great relationship with MoDOT on this priority project. We also are very grateful to the voters of Lee’s Summit who approved the bonds for the city portion of the funding.”
Radmacher Brothers Construction based in Pleasant Hill, Mo., is providing general construction services for the interchange project, and GBA Architects and Engineers of Lenexa, Kan. provided engineering and design services.
“We always appreciate the opportunity to do projects for the City of Lee’s Summit. Diverging diamond projects can present traffic control challenges, and when you add a roundabout it gets even more complicated, but the public always appreciates the finished product,” said Radmacher Brothers Owner Robert Radmacher.
The project should be completed in late 2018. Additional project partners include the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, and Friends of Lee’s Summit.
For More Information:
Sarah Shore | Lee’s Summit Public Works | 816-969-1800 | email@example.com
Tina Chace | Lee’s Summit EDC | 816-525-6617 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Krista Klaus | Lee’s Summit EDC | 913-284-5752 | email@example.com