As Shawnee gets ready to kick off a project to revitalize part of the 75th Street corridor, the city is also planning to build a wall and paint a mural to beautify the busy intersection with Nieman Road.
After some discussion with city staff on the project, the Shawnee City Council this week unanimously agreed to accept bids for the 75th Street revitalization project.
The city has budgeted about $4 million for the project, with Johnson County expected to contribute at least $1.4 million.
City staff noted that Southern Star, a gas pipeline company with a property at 75th and Nieman, also plans to contribute $200,000 to the project.
The road improvement project covers 75th Street from Quivira to Switzer. Construction is slated to begin this year. Project details include:
- A new pedestrian refuge island with traffic signal to assist with crossing 75th safely to Shawanoe Elementary
- An 8-foot shared-use path on the south side of 75th
- Narrowing the center turn lane to make room for the shared-use path
- Improved bicycle and pedestrian connections
- New traffic signal at 75th and Quivira
- Asphalt mill and overlay (road resurfacing)
- Curb, sidewalk and accessible ramps
- Stormwater repairs
- Updated street lighting to LED
- Landscaping, signage and beautification streetscape amenities
- Enhanced bus stops
Designing a mural at 75th and Nieman
As part of the city’s beautification efforts in the area, Shawnee is also planning to build a screening wall along the Southern Star property at the southwest corner of 75th and Nieman.
Design work is expected to cost about $68,800. The design consultant, Stantec of Overland Park, is planning to provide design concepts for the mural.
The city council will consider and approve a final design before work would begin.
Some concerns raised
City leaders shared support for revitalization efforts along the corridor but raised some concerns.
Mayor Michelle Distler said she worried for safety issues in the center turn lane, which will be narrowed to make room for the 8-foot shared use path on the south side of 75th.
Meanwhile, some councilmembers expressed wishes that the city would include more public input in the future on projects like this, especially when the city nears final design and construction stages.
Councilmember Eric Jenkins also had concerns with the roughly $68,000 cost of the wall and mural.
City staff said most of the roughly $68,000 will go toward construction of the wall itself.
Some city leaders also mentioned concerns about gas smells in the area and their hope to see the city work with Southern Star to address it.
Below is a video recording of the meeting. Discussion begins at 1:03:03