UPDATED: Mission plans to replace damaged barrier, leave others in place along Hodges Drive

Hodges Drive
The planter at Hodges Drive and West 62nd Street in Mission.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct an error. The city plans to replace the damaged barrier with the alternative design option as reported here. The other two will remain in place until the streets are up for reconstruction.

The city of Mission is in the home stretch on plans for three large planters blocking the ends of streets feeding into Hodges Drive. Two of the planters are likely going to stay in place for the immediate future, while the planter that was damaged last year in a police chase will be replaced by a new design alternative.

The city plans to use capital improvement funds to replace the damaged planter with a gate and “island” design that includes pavers and a gate.

The total estimated cost of making repairs to the damaged planter is $12,000 to $15,000, according to city documents.

The new plan also calls for leaving the existing planters intact and adding reflective signage to them until the streets get scheduled for a mill and overlay or full reconstruction. The city will revisit the issue then.

Mission City Administrator Laura Smith has been working with the neighborhood working group to come up with a solution for the planters that works for both the city and neighborhood

The planters block three streets connecting to Hodges Drive: West 62nd Terrace, West 62nd Street and Juniper Drive/West 61st Terrace (those two roads merge at the intersection). The damaged planters is located at the intersection of 61st Terrace/Juniper and Hodges.

The Mission council had considered in a meeting last month a few design alternatives for hard barriers, but ultimately asked city staff to get more feedback from neighbors on which design they preferred before the city moved forward with the project.

Hodges Drive
The planter at Hodges and West 61st Terrace was damaged last May when a vehicle crashed into it.

One of the design alternatives favored by city leaders and staff was an “island” in each intersection that included pavers and a gate. Public safety vehicles would have a key to the gate for better accessibility in exiting the area.

However, after consulting the neighborhood working group again in August, the neighbors decided they wanted the city to leave the existing planters in place. The neighbors were concerned about the aesthetics of the gates and believed the gates would not provide as strong a deterrent for cars driving around as the planters do now.

The neighborhood group’s consensus over the past several months has been to keep a hard barrier in place that would serve as a deterrent to crime and increase property values.

The council will likely consider approval of this item Sept. 18.