Archive for Wednesday, September 3, 2008

150th Street to get needed improvements

The Basehor City Council has approve plans for a better road along 150th Street from Parallel Road to Craig Street.

The Basehor City Council has approve plans for a better road along 150th Street from Parallel Road to Craig Street.

September 3, 2008

The narrow, uneven road known as 150th Street is marked for a major improvement next year.

And residents who live on the street heard the good and the bad news that goes along with that Thursday night.

The Basehor City Council approved the improvement of 150th Street from Parallel Road to Craig Street as a priority several months ago and allotted $100,000 in corridor study funds to help with this expected $850,000 project, which will bump the street up to collector-street status minus a center turn lane. Improvements include widening the road, asphalt, curbs and gutters, streetlights and new drainage solutions. There are still some details to be worked out with property owners and design, City Administrator Carl Slaugh said, but construction could start as early as spring 2009 and should take about six months to complete.

"I anticipate that it will take three to four months to acquire easements for this project," he said. "That's assuming we don't have to use condemnation. Once we get additional right of way and easements, then the utility companies will come in and relocate utilities. Depending on the time of the year, that should take three to four months."

Slaugh warned that because of the expected six-month duration of the project, combined with up to six months for utility relocation, the street could be a construction zone for up to a year. He assured residents that they would always be able to access their properties from at least one end of the road and yards and driveways would be restored to their original conditions as well.

"You will be able to access your property from one end or another," Slaugh said. "There will be periods of time where you won't be able to go all the way through north and south."

One of the unique aspects of the project is the jogging centerline, Slaugh explained. The line starts in the middle of the road on the north end near Parallel Road, then as it moves south, the road shifts so the center line is actually east of center. Dave Lutgen, project engineer for McAfee, Henderson Solutions Engineering said they would correct this problem in the design by widening the road to the west. The goal, Lutgen said, is to allow 60 feet total, 30 feet on either side of the road, for improvements, meaning each individual property owner, especially on the west side of the road, will be affected by the road improvements in different degrees.

"The edge of the asphalt on the east side of the road, that's about where the curb line will go," Slaugh said. "We're going to put in one sidewalk and that's going to be on the west side of the road."

Residents present showed concern for what Slaugh called the worst part of the project, which is the number of trees that need to be cut down. A map marked each tree with either an "X" to be cut down or an "S" to save. Homeowners asked for ways to save more trees not just for the appearance, but because several rare albino squirrels live in the trees in the area.

"There are quite a few trees near the road that need to be removed to make this project possible," Lutgen said. "If it's on the border, we'll try to save it, but a lot of times you get into the roots and in a couple years it will die."

Another major concern was storm-water drainage. The design calls for larger drainage pipes to be installed underneath the road and exit into a few property owners' front yards. Residents were concerned with the look and safety of this design and the effect excess water drainage would have on their yards. Slaugh and Lutgen said there had been discussion about possibly extending the drainage pipes further to the east towards the back of properties to minimize impact, depending on the cost. Slaugh also encouraged residents to contact him and set up times to discuss additional concerns and view individual exhibits of properties.

"We'll have an exhibit that will show what will happen on each one of your properties," Slaugh said. "There will also be details on each driveway, so you'll have a better idea of what is actually taking place."

The next step in the project is to contact each property owner about the individual exhibits as well as easements, Slaugh said.

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