Streetscape work on $37 million Nieman Road project to begin soon

Shawnee’s massive Nieman Now project will soon enter the streetscaping phase.

The centerpiece of Shawnee’s major work on Nieman Road will soon go out for bid.

The streetscape phase to Nieman Now, the city’s biggest capital improvement project, will reduce Nieman Road to three lanes and add a bike and pedestrian path on one side as well as a sidewalk on the other.

Paul Lindstrom, senior project engineer for Nieman Now, said construction on this phase is expected to go out for bid in the next month or two.

Nieman Now, which includes the streetscape work and four stormwater projects to Nieman Road between Shawnee Mission Parkway and 55th Street, is Shawnee’s largest capital improvement project at about $37 million. Lindstrom said Nieman Now involves several different projects. This is the first time Shawnee has committed this much of an investment in a capital improvement project.

The final stormwater project is in its completion phase. The city will upgrade the streetlight fixtures and also add trees, benches and signs to the area.

Lindstrom said all construction is expected to be complete by fall 2019, about a year later than originally scheduled. The construction will require certain street closures, including Flint Street between West 60th Street and West 60th Terrace for street and storm sewer work through Oct. 31.

The city has plans to expand on improvements to the area, including several other adjacent streets that will be upgraded to allow better pedestrian and bicycle access.

The Nieman Now project will address flooding issues within the corridor, provide a “road diet” to Nieman Road, converting the four-lane to a three-lane road, and provides a multi-purpose trail on one side and sidewalk on the other.

“The vision is to create a more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly corridor, enhance development opportunities and improve the aesthetic look of the area,” Lindstrom said, adding that the short time frame of approximately two years has been a “significant challenge” to the Nieman Now project.

“This work involves four engineering consultants and four contractors,” Lindstrom said. “In addition, as part of the improvements, the city has requested that all overhead utility lines be installed underground throughout the corridor. This has required a major effort by all stakeholders involved and, because of the amount of work needed, has slightly delayed the completion date of the Nieman Road portion of the project.”

To compare the city’s other large capital improvement projects — Shawnee has completed Clear Creek Parkway, a new mile-long street west of K-7 that cost approximately $5.9 million; Erfurt Park, which was about $1.5 million; and Fire Station 72 and the Justice Center, which were approximately $22.6 million.