The City of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and its project partners on May 3 celebrated the official construction kickoff for a $16 million interchange at Route 291 South and U.S. 50 at the Harris Park Community Center, 110 S.W. Blue Parkway in Lee’s Summit.
The project includes reconstruction of the Route 291 overpass bridge into a diverging diamond design, adds a roundabout at Blue Parkway and Jefferson Street, and realigns Oldham Parkway.
Reconstruction of the 40-year-old bridge and interchange has been a long-standing priority of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council and the Lee’s Summit business community. LSEDC president and chief executive officer Rick McDowell said that the project will help make the corridor the next frontier for economic growth.
“This project opens up hundreds of acres for commercial development,” McDowell said, in a statement. “With The Grove mixed-use development to the southeast slated to begin spec industrial construction this year, and Pinetree Plaza shopping center on the northwest quadrant targeted for redevelopment, this new interchange will serve as a gateway to the south side of Lee’s Summit.”
A decade ago, a group of Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council investors formed the Gateway Business Alliance roundtable to advocate for public funding of transportation infrastructure projects, including the 291/50 interchange. In 2014, Lee’s Summit voters approved a no-tax-increase, $10 million bond issue to help finance the improvements.
The new $16.02 million interchange is funded through a three-part cost sharing agreement, with the City of Lee’s Summit paying $8 million; the U.S. Department of Transportation paying $6.8 million through funds secured through the Mid-America Regional Council; and the Missouri Department of Transportation paying the remaining $1.22 million.
Radmacher Brothers Construction based in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, is providing general construction services for the interchange project, and GBA Architects and Engineers of Lenexa, Kansas, provided engineering and design services.
The project should be completed in late 2018. Additional project partners include the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street and Friends of Lee’s Summit.