Archive for Wednesday, March 18, 2009

KDOT pledges $600,000 to 24-40/Main

March 18, 2009

Tonganoxie could have a new and improved intersection at U.S. Highway 24-40 and Main Street by the end of the year.

At Monday’s Tonganoxie City Council meeting, Jason Hoskins from BG Consultants, the city’s engineering firm, discussed an agreement between the city and the Kansas Department of Transportation to fund the construction.

Hoskins said because the improvements coincide with the U.S. 24-40 corridor plan, KDOT was willing to fund up to $600,000 of the project.

“Because these improvements comply with that plan, this project is eligible for that funding,” he said.

The project will include a new traffic signal at the intersection, as well as construction of new turning lanes on both sides of Main Street. KDOT will also include right-lane deceleration lanes at the intersection, as well as a new right turn lane at Laming Road.

“This will really make it look more like an urban intersection,’ Hoskins said.

The total cost of the project is estimated around $911,000 with the city’s portion being around $311,000.

If the cost of the project is lower than the engineering estimate, which Hoskins thinks it will be, it will reduce the city’s portion of the project.

Once the project starts, Hoskin said it will take around four to six months before the project is completed. The project will be completed in phases to minimize the disruption of traffic with the actual signal being one of the last things going up.

Hoskins suggested the city invest in streetlights that can only be activated by pedestrians who want to cross at the current intersection. He estimated the lights cost around $25,000

Ward also asked that the city look into having police chief Kenneth Carpenter request to have the speed limit lowered near the highway and North Star Dr.

“We have kids going in and out of that intersection and we need to do everything we can to keep them safe,” Ward said.

The council unanimously voted to enter into an agreement to help fund the construction.

In other business the council:

• Unanimously approved the cereal malt beverage license renewal for Harry Krouse.

• Unanimously approved the $35,001 for Kings Construction for work completed at the new baseball fields for the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission.

• Unanimously authorized the mayor to sign approval of county and city expenditures of $1,800 for computer software.

• Listened to an update on the 2010 and 2011 Kansas Sampler Festivals from the festival’s steering committee president, Bob Topping. He said that the festival was in good financial shape and he encouraged the council members to visit the sampler festival that will be held in the first weekend of May in Concordia.

• Listened to a report from Sadie Gardner with Bridging The Gap on the services it can provide the city to help facilitate the city’s Safe Routes to School program and the Walking School Bus program. The council unanimously voted to contract with Bridging the Gap for $12,500 once it gets the notice to proceed from KDOT. Tonganoxie was given $250,000 in federal funds to start the SRTS program.

• Unanimously approved an ordinance that would amend the loan agreement between the city and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to add sufficient funding to cover the expenses associated with the Interceptor Sewer Phase II.

“If they don’t do it now, it’s going to cost them a lot more to hook in later,” Kathy Bard said. Councilmember Steve Gumm abstained.

• Entered into executive session for 15 minutes for the purposes of attorney client privilege. No action was taken.

For more from the meeting, look for this story at www.tonganoxiemirror.com.

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