The City of Independence has been awarded almost $5 million in transportation funding. "Word of this nearly $5 million award is certainly appreciated," Mayor Don Reimal said. "The impact of the opening of Jackson Drive and the Little Blue Valley are important to the future growth of Independence." The Kansas City bi-state region became one of the first areas in the country to allocate transportation ARRA funding. The Independence projects, as well as others in Kansas and Missouri, were selected through the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC).
The MARC Board of Directors, in its role as governing body of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, voted to accept the recommendations received from regional transportation committees in funding 23 projects totaling about $27 million for local government projects in the Missouri part of Kansas City.
In Independence, the Little Blue Parkway extension from R.D. Mize Road to Necessary Road will receive $3.3 million in federal funds. This project builds a new four lane street, a sidewalk, bicycle path, storm drainage improvements, and a new intersection with a traffic signal at Necessary Road. Jackson Drive construction between Holke Road and 78 Highway (23rd Street) will receive $1.4 million in federal stimulus funding. This project adds two traffic lanes along the east side of Holke Road, installs curbs, installs sidewalks, and adds turn lanes with a new traffic signal at the 78 Highway intersection. "Both projects have been under development, which allows them to meet the federal funding requirement for the projects to be ready for construction," Public Works Director John Powell said. "In both cases, the economic downturn negatively impacted the project funding," Powell said. "The new funds will allow us to move forward to construction more quickly. Construction is to start this year and to finish next summer on both projects."
Jackson Drive was officially opened July 1, 2009, from its current end at 37th Terrace a mile north to R.D. Mize Road. This roadway opening gives access to Centerpoint Medical Center, shopping areas along 39th Street, and the new Independence Events Center just off I-70. Tax Increment Funding from the Centerpoint Medical Center development financed the cost of this phase.
Work is also underway on the Little Blue Parkway, now being built through the Little Blue Valley from 39th Street to R.D. Mize Road. Work on this phase will be completed this fall. This is part of a larger project to extend the Little Blue Parkway to 24 Highway.
Contact Public Works (816) 325-7600