Archive for Thursday, December 16, 2004

Basehor to receive grant for frontage road

December 16, 2004

Building frontage roads is a proven winner in opening up landlocked parcels for commercial development, Leavenworth Area Development director Lynn McClure said.

"Frontage roads are the equivalent today of opening up parcels -- that's the way to create," McClure said.

Apparently, officials from the Kansas Department of Transportation, as well as Basehor city officials, agree.

Late last week, state transportation officials announced that nearly $1 million would be awarded to the city for the construction of a frontage road that would run between 155th and 158th streets near U.S. Highway 24/40.

The state will contribute $971,000 toward the $1.4 million project. It remains the city's burden to provide the remaining $428,000, according to the department of transportation.

Basehor city administrator David Fuqua, like McClure, said development of the road would be a boon to economic development in Basehor.

"It'll open up the land there along 24/40," Fuqua said. "You develop that and businesses will come, jobs will be created.

"It's going to be nice. It's going to be the first street like it in Basehor."

Fuqua said the project, slated for 2006 or early 2007, would also include improving a section of 155th Street between the highway and the frontage road, or "the key entrance into the city."

Exactly where the city's contribution of $428,000 will come from has not yet been determined. Fuqua said the city could seek contributions from property owners that will benefit from the frontage road's creation, but definitive plans are not yet finalized.

Given the city's plush location between development in western Wyandotte County, Johnson County and Lawrence, as well as the proposed frontage road's proximity to the highway and proposed developments, it's possible that the prospective roadway could become the city's central roadway for commercial development.

McClure said those factors could very well change Basehor's limited commercial, retail and industrial climate.

"You've got to tap that and say 'Let's use this as a catalyst," McClure said. If that happens, the city would be "not just working for today, but working for Basehor when it's 5,000 people and not just 2,500."

State funds totaling $24.5 million were approved for 26 construction projects in cities across Kansas through the department of transportation's local partnership program, including the Basehor project.

"The local partnership program has been very popular in the state, and these improvements couldn't have happened without local partners and KDOT working together," transportation secretary Deb Miller said in a written release.

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