Funding secured for redesign of Benton and Independence Boulevard intersection

Northeast News 
April 3, 2013 

Updated boulevards. Above is an illustration of what the Benton and Independence Boulevard intersection could look like once construction is complete. Submitted Image

Funding has now been secured to redesign the intersection of Benton and Independence Boulevard.

Scott Overbay of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department provided a project update during the March 26 Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce meeting.

The intersection redesign is the final phase in the Independence Boulevard Streetscape Improvements project, which began in 1996.

In addition to being a major thoroughfare in Historic Northeast, Independence Boulevard became the first boulevard in the city’s parks and recreation boulevard system in 1893. Completed in 1910, Independence Boulevard catered to horse and buggy and the early automobile. The parks department began studying the boulevard in the 1990s, looking for ways to enhance the boulevard and make updates for modern traffic.

Past streetscape improvements along the boulevard have included updating traffic signals, realigning intersections, installing decorative pedestrian lighting, landscaping, adding additional parking spaces, installing street name tiles at intersections, among other improvements.

One of the main goals for redesigning Benton and Independence Boulevard is to improve both traffic and pedestrian safety. During a 2006 to 2008 traffic study, the city counted 45 vehicle accidents; three of those involved pedestrians.

“We knew we needed to take care of traffic safety and pedestrian safety,” Overbay said.

Other goals of the intersection project include preserving the historical context of the intersection while still accommodating modern vehicles and traffic laws; minimizing the negative impact of construction for surrounding businesses and property owners; engaging the neighborhoods and businesses, among other goals.

The parks department received a $1.4 million grant through the Missouri Department of Transportation and $660,000 in matching funds from the city’s Public Improvements Advisory Committee (PIAC) to improve the intersection and implement improvements along other sections of the boulevard which will range from repairing sidewalk tiles and light poles to improving seat walls and general maintenance, among others.

Construction could begin as early as late 2015, but will most likely begin in 2016, Overbay said. The intersection will include four mast arms and four pedestrian signals which will be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, and will include pedestrian crosswalks and two pedestrian islands for easier crossing. Each traffic island will be elevated eight inches above the roadway. Other improvements will include landscaping, decorative lighting, additional sidewalks, a brick column to identify the historic intersection, a decorative fence, seat walls for those waiting for the bus, among other design elements.

“There’s a lot of work yet to do before we start construction,” he said.

The city will need to secure easements and the Public Works Department must conduct a final review of the plans. From there, the plans will be sent to MoDOT for its approval since MoDOT administered the grant. The design will be subject to change depending on the construction bids received, he said. Once construction begins, Overbay estimates construction will be completed within eight to 9 months.


Comments are closed.

  • Office Tower slated for Indep/Benton

    April 1st, 2016

    Northeast Ruse KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Officials with Cashphlash, an international payday lending agency, has expressed interest in constructing a […]

    Fire destroys pawn shop warehouse

    November 19th, 2014

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Nov. 19, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Kansas City Fire Department were called to an […]

    Neighborhood Advisory Council seeks candidates for 2015

    November 12th, 2014

    Northeast News November 12, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Kansas City, Mo., Neighborhood Advisory Council is seeking candidates for […]

    A new program coming to teach children music

    November 5th, 2014

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News November 5, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – An area community center is hoping to bring […]

    Hang out with runners along the Cliff Drive

    October 28th, 2014

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News October 29, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – This weekend, runners are heading for the cliff. […]

  • No reservoir-ations about park’s future

    October 21st, 2014

      By Joe Jarosz Northeast News October 22, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – First, they took a look at Independence […]

    River Market CID renewal met with some resistance

    October 14th, 2014

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News October 15, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Not everyone in the River Market believes the […]

    Experience a world of culture in NEKC

    October 14th, 2014

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News October 15, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – If you’re building a park or touring historic […]

    Barber shop wants to grow with Columbus Park

    October 14th, 2014

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News October 15, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Eric Barnhart has big plans for his barber […]

    EPD hitting the right notes

    October 14th, 2014

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News October 15, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The number of homicides in the East Patrol […]

  • J.E. Dunn Bid Solicitation

  • What’s Happening

    Northeast Newscast Episode 26 – the state of Pendleton Heights w/ PHNA President Jessica Ray

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News On this week’s episode of the Northeast Newscast, managing editor Paul Thompson talk with Pendleton […]

    Actress Mackenzie Phillips talks opioid addiction with KCU students

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Actress Mackenzie Phillips opened up to Kansas City University (KCU) students about her past issues […]

    Activists meet in downtown KC to oppose election integrity commission

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Several dozen activists gathered at the north end of Ilus Davis Park in downtown Kansas […]

  • Local Weather