Roeland Park gets ready to move to formal design phase of Roe Blvd. revamp project

Roeland Park hopes to begin construction on the renovation of Roe Blvd. in 2020.
Roeland Park hopes to begin construction on the renovation of Roe Blvd. in 2020.

By Holly Cook

Plans to improve Roe Boulevard continued Monday as the Roeland Park City Council gave consensus to move a $480,823 task order to support the project’s design to the next council meeting agenda. The city is contracting with George Butler Associates for the work.

“This is to take us from that visioning phase through the design phase,” said director of public works Jose Leon.

The city completed surveying and preliminary design of the project’s visioning phase in 2017, at a cost of $330,000. Initial suggestions by Vireo and George Butler Associates include the creation of gateway elements at north and south entrances of Roe, reduction of traffic signals, shortened turn lanes, and increased greenspace and landscaping.

The improvements also focus on pedestrian safety and include plans for a mixed-use trail, safer crosswalks, and buffered sidewalks.

The full cost of the Roe Boulevard update is estimated at $8.1 million, with $7 million going towards construction cost.

The city is receiving more than $4.6 million in federal funds in addition to County Assistance Road System (CARS) funds and anticipated TIF funding. Due to the mix of outside funding sources the city will only need to put $500,000 towards the project, said city administrator Keith Moody.

“It’s an exceptional leveraging of local funds…,” Moody said.

The city is targeting early 2020 as the construction start date.

Councilmember Michael Poppa requested the task order be amended to include language from the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance, in addition to the state’s regulation. Councilors signaled their approval of the change.