Council reviews option of extending Nettleton
The Bonner Springs City Council Monday learned more about an option to construct an extension of Nettleton Avenue as part of the construction of an interchange at Kansas Avenue and Kansas Highway 7.
The council will take this into consideration in the future as they continue to discuss changing their stance in a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kansas Department of Transportation concerning its plan to turn K-7 into a freeway, removing all traffic lights. Council members said they also wanted for more information about how the state was responding Olathe’s decision to withdraw its support for a freeway before making their decision.
Jim Pickett, KDOT metro engineer, and Tim Ross, engineer with George Butler Associates, showed the council a basic layout of how Nettleton could be extended from its current stopping point just east of K-7 north to what will become Speaker Road at the current entrance to the Cottonwood campground.
“As we’ve been listening to what you folks have been telling us and also a listening session we’ve had the businesses and others, we’ve come up with this concept,” Pickett said, adding that he knew the council was concerned given Olathe’s recent actions. “… We appreciate your position, and we’re listening, and hopefully we can work together to find a way through this.”
Ross said the state began considering Nettleton as an option because to keep traffic moving through the intersection at Kansas Avenue while the interchange was constructed would require at least 20 different traffic shifts on temporary roads. It also would take at least two construction seasons to complete the interchange.
They found that it would be about the same cost to extend Nettleton first and then use it to move traffic around the interchange construction would be about the same cost, and it would take only one construction season to complete the interchange.
Ross said the extension would have to be constructed at four lanes in order to handle the rerouted highway traffic. The Nettleton extension also would include an east-west road at Commercial Drive to allow traffic to access business developments on the west side of K-7.
The state does not have funding dedicated to the interchange at Kansas Avenue interchange, but Bonner Springs would have to cover some costs of the Nettleton extension.
Council member Jeff Harrington and others worried that using Nettleton would hurt businesses just as much as a piece-by-piece construction plan.
“It sounds like the detour would be convenient for KDOT and not for Bonner,” he said.
Ross and Pickett said business owners had largely indicated that while they may not like any plans for construction, they preferred the construction taking one year, rather than two.
The council members also wanted to know how KDOT was responding to Olathe’s withdrawal of support for the freeway concept. Pickett said he knew it hadn’t changed KDOT’s opinion that a freeway was needed, but a planning group was addressing the issue and could better answer the question.
John Helin, city manager, said that while the presentation didn’t give the council answers to most of their questions, he would meet with the KDOT planning group to discuss the matter and possibly bring them before the full council for discussion.
He said he would then schedule lengthy workshop to “hash out” a final decision on the MOU.
Harrington did not attend the council’s regular meeting.
During its regular meeting, the council:
• Heard Mayor Clausie Smith proclaim May 6-12 as National Drinking Water Week in the city; April 29 – May 5 as Municipal Clerk’s Week in the city; May 5-13 as National Tourism and Travel Week; and April 23-27 as National Work Zone Awareness Week in the city.
• Approved consent agenda items.
• Approved a utility relocation reimbursement with KDOT. The state will reimburse 100 percent of the costs for utility relocation related to the Riverview bridge project, estimated at $118,296.
• Establish the breeder’s license fee at $25, with the potential to increase it upon annual review.